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Rossi makes the step up: 500cc title added to the list

The third of Valentino Rossi’s nine World titles is reviewed, as goes back to 2001 and the Italian’s first premier class crown, the last ever 500cc World Championship.

Something of a pattern was developing in Valentino Rossi’s career by the time he reached the premier class, and it was not just a winning one.

As he had done in both the 125cc and 250cc categories, it took the man from Tavullia a single season to find his feet in the premier class before he won the World title in his second campaign.

Rossi’s introduction to 500cc with Honda saw him go head-to-head with Max Biaggi, and their rivalry made for an engrossing spectacle. Finishing second in his debut season, a place ahead of Biaggi, Rossi was crowned Champion the following year with his fellow Italians Biaggi and Loris Capirossi second and third in the standings respectively.

Sealing the 2001 title at Phillip Island with a victory and beating Biaggi over the finish line by just 0.013s, Rossi’s season of 11 wins – 13 podiums in total – made him the last ever 500cc World Champion with two races to spare, and was the start of a run of five consecutive premier class titles.

On Wednesday, looks back at Rossi’s two further titles with Honda with more celebration videos.

MotoGP, 2009, Valentino Rossi

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