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Loris Capirossi

Loris Capirossi

Loris Capirossi

Loris Capirossi is one of the most experienced riders in the MotoGP World Championship. The Italian made his GP debut back in 1990 in the 125cc class and stood out right from his very first race. After two successive 125 titles, he made the jump to the 250cc class. Following a year of adaptation, he narrowly missed out on the quarter litre crown, finishing third and then second behind the dominant force in the class of the time, Max Biaggi.

Capirossi made the inevitable move to the premier class and clinched his first win in his second season whilst riding for Yamaha. In 1997 he returned to the 250s to spearhead the Aprilia challenge and walked away with the title in his second year with the Italian factory. During his second spell in the quarter litre class he came across another tough Italian rival, none other than Valentino Rossi who was setting out on his path to superstardom. In 1999 he brought the curtain down on his adventure in the 250 category to concentrate his efforts once again on the elite class.

2001 proved to be his best season in the 500cc class, the last before it changed into the MotoGP category, when he took a total of nine podium finishes as he finished third overall.

The next major chapter in his sporting career came in 2003 when he accepted the challenge of riding for Ducati as they made their debut in MotoGP. In that first season he managed the factory's maiden GP win and managed six podiums in all. However, the high hopes placed on him following that encouraging first season had evaporated 12 months later following a disappointing campaign that saw him finish sixth overall in the championship standings with a third place his best finish.

A broken leg meant he started the 2005 campaign not in peak physical condition, but having recovered from the injury he put on a fine display in front of his home fans at Mugello where he took his first podium of the season. However, it was an achievement he was unable to match in the following few races.

But the start of the final third of the season marked a new dawn for Ducati, as improvements in their bike, and more notably their partnership with Bridgestone tyres, saw them become a real force. The second place that he took at Brno began a superb run of form for Capirossi who took victory, and also pole position, in both Japan and Malaysia. In the following round in Qatar, Capirossi once again took pole, but various problems during the race saw him unfortunately finish well down the field.

The spectacular finish to the 2005 season that Ducati produced means there is real optimism surrounding the Italian manufacturer for the 2006 campaign. Only the serious injury that Capirossi picked up at Phillip Island prevented him from challenging for the runner-up spot in the championship, and if the Italian can rediscover the form he showed in the final races of last year, he could become a real contender in the 2006 World Championship.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2005

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