Valentino Rossi, 2004 MotoGP World Champion
Birth date: 16/02/1979
Birth place: Urbino, ITA
First Grand Prix: 1996 MAL 125cc
First Pole Position: 1996 CZE 125cc
First Race Fastest Lap: 1996 FRA 125cc
First Podium: 1996 AUT 125cc
First GP Victory: 1996 CZE 125cc
Grand Prix Starts : 139
500cc/MotoGP Starts: 79
250cc Starts: 30
125cc Starts: 30
Grand Prix Victories: 67
500cc/MotoGP Victories: 41
250cc Victories: 14
125cc Victories: 12
2nd Placements: 21
3rd placements: 12
Pole Positions: 35
Race Fastest Lap: 59
World Championship Wins: 6
Total Points: 2467
Born February 16, 1979 in Urbino. Son of Graziano Rossi, who was third in the 1979 250cc World Championship on a Morbidelli. Begins sporting career in 1990 in mini-moto competitions. In 1993 makes debut with Cagiva in Italian 125cc Sport Production championship, taking first victories in rookie season and winning
the title in 1994.
In 1995 contests European Championships as official Aprilia rider, finishing the season in third place. Retains his Italian 125cc Championship crown and moves to the World Championship in 1996.
1996: World Championship debut at the 125cc Malaysian GP riding an Aprilia in Scuderia AGV.
Final Championship position: 9th with 111 points - 1 victory: Czech Republic.
1997: Second youngest ever 125cc Champion riding an Aprilia for the Nastro Azzurro Team.
Final Championship position: 1st with 321 points - 11 wins: Malaysia, Spain, Italy,
France, Netherlands, Imola, Germany, Brazil, Great Britain, Catalunya and Indonesia.
1998: Moves up to 250cc class riding an Aprilia for the Nastro Azzurro Team.
Final Championship position: 2nd with 201 points - 5 wins: Netherlands, Imola,
Catalunya, Australia and Argentina.
1999: Becomes the youngest ever 250 World Champion riding for the Aprilia Grand Prix Racing.
Final Championship position: 1st with 309 points - 9 wins: Spain, Italy, Catalunya, Great Britain, Germany, Czech Republic, Australia, South Africa and Brazil.
2000: Moves up to the 500cc class riding a Honda for the Nastro Azzuro Team.
Final Championship position: 2nd with 209 points - 2 wins: Great Britain and Brazil
2001: Takes the 500cc World Championship riding a Honda for the Nastro Azzuro Team. Final Championship position: 1st with 325 points. - 11 wins: Japan, South Africa, Spain, Catalunya, Great Britain, Czech Republic, Portugal, Pacific, Australia, Malaysia and Brazil.
2002: Wins revised format MotoGP World Championship riding all-new four stroke Honda RC211V for the Repsol Honda Team. Final Championship position: 1st with 355 points -11 wins: Japan, Spain, France, Catalunya, Italy, Netherlands, Great Britain, Germany, Portugal, Brazil and Australia.
2003: Wins his second MotoGP World Championship for the Repsol Honda Team.
Final Championship position: 1st with 357 points – 9 wins: Japan, Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Portugal, Rio, Malaysia, Australia and Valencia.
2004: Moves to Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha and wins the MotoGP World Championship. Championship position: 1st with 279 points after 15 of 16 rounds. 8 wins: South Africa, Italy, Catalunya, Netherlands, Great Britain, Portugal, Malaysia and Australia.
OTHER FACTS ABOUT ROSSI'S CAREER:
- In 2001 Rossi became the youngest ever rider to win titles in three different classes. The only other two riders to win titles in three classes are Phil Read (125, 250, 500) and Mike Hailwood (250, 350, 500).
- Rossi was the fourth youngest rider ever to win the 500cc title after Freddie Spencer, Mike Hailwood and John Surtees.
- First place at Phillip Island was Rossi's 100th podium from 139 starts in the three different classes of Grand Prix racing. Only five riders in the 56-year history of Grand Prix racing have stood on a Grand Prix podium more frequently than Valentino Rossi.
- At the opening race of the year in South Africa, Rossi became the first rider in the 55-year history of MotoGP to take back-to-back victories riding machines from two different manufacturers.
- Rossi's victory in Australia was his eighth of the year – the highest number of wins in a season for any Yamaha rider in history.
- Rossi is the seventh rider to take four or more premier-class World Championships. Giacomo Agostini has won the most with eight, followed by Mick Doohan with five and then Geoff Duke, Mike Hailwood, Eddie
Lawson and John Surtees with four.
-The only rider other than Rossi to win back-to-back titles on different machinery was Eddie Lawson, who won the title riding a Yamaha in 1988 and again on a Honda in 1989.