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Rossi set to finish another record-breaking season of MotoGP

Rossi set to finish another record-breaking season of MotoGP

Rossi set to finish another record-breaking season of MotoGP

Valentino Rossi now has little more to achieve in World Championship motorcycle racing except to keep on chipping away at the records set by some of the great names in the sport with whom the Italian can easily count himself as a peer.

Approaching the end of his third consecutive title-winning campaign the impressive CV of the 24 year old makes for familiar reading but there are still some interesting stats that ‘The Doctor' will feel is in need of a little corrective surgery.

The final race of the year takes place this weekend at Valencia and the World Champ is chasing his 22nd consecutive podium finish which would equal the record held by fellow countryman Giacomo Agostini, who reached his total over a period of three years during the 1960s. The last time Rossi failed to cross the line in the top three was at Brno in 2002; at that stage he had already wracked-up 13 successive trophies. Without the tyre failure in the Czech Republic that caused a DNF he could be looking at an unprecedented 37 GPs in a row in which he has climbed on the podium.

If sustained on Sunday his 100% 2003 trail of podium results would supersede a personal best of 15 notched in 2002.

Just one more rostrum would position the Honda rider joint fifth with Randy Mamola inside a table consisting of the most successful riders in premier class; Rossi has an incredible total of 53, taken over a period of just four years (32 x 1st, 13 x 2nd, 8 x 3rd).

Rossi has claimed titles in every category of modern day GP racing but interestingly has not managed to take a win in any class at Valencia since the circuit has been a part of the World Championship scene in 1999. It is also one of three venues where he has not started from pole position in any class (the other two tracks are Motegi and Estoril).

Perhaps a less glamorous achievement is that Rossi (along with Shinya Nakano) could be the first rider since Regis Laconi in the 2000 season to score points in all 16 GP races if he places within the top 15 at Valencia. Regardless of whether he is racing for Honda or allegedly Yamaha in 2004, Rossi needs just five more wins to break into the top three of the premier class. He currently has 32 victories and lies five behind Mike Hailwood, eighteen behind Mick Doohan and trails Agostini by thirty-six.

MotoGP, 2003, Valentino Rossi

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