Thursday, January 8, 2009
Valentino Rossi (born February 16, 1979 in Urbino) is an Italian professional motorcycle racer and multiple MotoGP World Champion. He is one of the most successful motorcycle racers of all time, with 8 Grand Prix World Championships to his name. According to Sports Illustrated, Valentino Rossi is one of the highest earning sports personalities in the world, having earned an estimated $34 million in 2007.
Following his father, Graziano Rossi, Rossi started racing in Grand Prix in 1996 for Aprilia in the 125cc category and won his first World Championship the following year. From there, he moved up to the 250 cc category, again with Aprilia, and won the World Championship in 1999. He won the 500 cc World Championship with Honda in 2001, the MotoGP World Championships (also with Honda) in 2002 and 2003, and continued his streak of back-to-back championships by winning the 2004 and 2005 titles after leaving Honda to join Yamaha, before regaining the title in 2008.
Inaugural year for the MotoGP bikes was 2002, when riders experienced teething problems getting used to the new bikes (or dealing with the inferior 500 cc bikes). Rossi won the first race and went on to win eight of the first nine races of the season, eventually claiming 11 victories in total.
It was more of the same in 2003 for Rossi's rivals when he claimed nine pole positions as well as nine GP wins to claim his third consecutive World Championship. The Australian GP at Phillip Island in 2003 is considered to be one of Rossi's greatest career moments due to unique circumstances. After being given a 10-second penalty for overtaking during a yellow flag due to a crash by Ducati rider Troy Bayliss, front runner Rossi proceeded to pull away from the rest of the field, eventually finishing more than 15 seconds ahead, more than enough to cancel out the penalty and win the race.
Valentino Rossi : Information
Lives: Tavullia, Italy
GP victories: 97 (71 x MotoGP/500cc, 14 x 250cc, 12 x 125cc)
First GP victory: Czech Republic, 1996 (125cc)
First GP: Malaysia, 1996 (125cc)
GP starts: 209 (149 x MotoGP/500cc, 30 x 250cc, 30 x 125cc)
Pole positions: 51 (41 x MotoGP/500cc, 5 x 250cc, 5 x 125cc)
World Championships: 8 Grand Prix (1 x 125cc, 1 x 250cc, 1 x 500cc, 5 x MotoGP)
from:http://wikipedia.org or http://rossifiles.com