Manuel Poggiali: 250cc World Champion
Birth date: 14/02/1983
Birth place: San Marino
First Grand Prix: 1998 IMO 125cc
First Pole Position: 2001 POR 125cc
First Race Fastest Lap: 2002 RSA 125cc
First Podium: 2000 NED 125cc
First GP Victory: 2001 FRA 125cc
Grand Prix Starts: 76
250cc Starts: 16
125cc Starts: 60
Grand Prix Victories: 11
250cc Victories: 4
125cc Victories. 7
2nd Placements: 10
3rd placements: 11
Pole Positions: 11
Race Fastest Lap: 7
World Championship Wins: 2 (2001 125cc, 2003 250cc)
Total Points 843
Born in San Marino in 1983, Manuel Poggiali began racing minibikes at the age of eleven and won the prestigious Italian national title in 1997. One year later he made the step up to full size 125cc racing, winning the Honda Trophy and Italian Championship at the first attempt. Poggiali's growing reputation in Italy was noted by Aprilia, who thrust him straight into the World Championship for his first season in 1999. Overcoming the tragic death of his father in 2000, the teenager matured swiftly and made a quick transition from Grand Prix hopeful to one of the leading lights in MotoGP's smaller categories.
1998: World Championship debut at the 125cc Imola GP riding an Aprilia as a wildcard rider.
1999: First full season in the 125cc Championship riding for te Antinucci Racing Team. Final Championship position: 17th with 46 points.
2000: Moves to Derbi Racing Team and scores first podium at Assen.
Final Championship position: 16th with 53 points.
2001: Wins the 125cc Championship riding for Gilera Racing.
Final Championship position: 1st with 241 points - 3 wins: France, Portugal and Valencia.
2002: Second season with Gilera Racing.
Final Championship position: 2nd with 254 points - 4 wins: South Africa, Italy, Catalunya and Australia.
2003: Moves up to the 250cc class riding an Aprilia for the MS Aprilia Team and wins his first 250cc World Championship.
Championship position: 1st with 249 points. – 4 wins: Japan, South Africa,
Italy, and Rio.
Other facts about Poggiali's career:
Poggiali is the third youngest 250cc World Champion of all-time, behind Marco Melandri and Valentino Rossi.
He is the second youngest rider to win both the 125cc and 250cc titles behind Rossi.
This is the first time a rider has won the 250cc World Championship at the first attempt since Tetsuya Harada in 1993 riding a Yamaha.
Poggiali is the first rider from San Marino ever to win the 250cc World Championship.