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Home Heroes: Small country, big names

Home Heroes: Small country, big names

Despite a population of only 32,000, San Marino is the home round for some of MotoGP™’s biggest names.

San Marino has the smallest population of all members in the Council of Europe, but has produced a multiple race winner, a double World Champion and is the home round of Valentino Rossi.

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi is from the small Italian town of Tavullia, just over 12 kilometres from Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” where the San Marino GP is held. Although Italian, Rossi considers this to be his true home race and fans flock to both the circuit and Tavullia to soak up the atmosphere. Last year saw the Adriatic coastline around Misano explode in celebration as Rossi took an incredible home victory, his first since 2009. Yellow smoke filled the air and chants of Rossi’s name could be heard long into the night.

On three occasions Rossi has won at home and stood on the podium twice more. The 2012 race saw Rossi finish in second on the Ducati, his best dry weather result during his troubled two-year venture to the Italian manufacturer. Misano is also one of the two races in the season where Rossi produces a custom helmet. In the past these have included everything from a donkey to a tribute to the late Marco Simoncelli.

Alex De Angelis (E-Motion IodaRacing Team) hails from San Marino and this is his true home round. The last four seasons have seen De Angelis struggle in Moto2™ and MotoGP™, but in the past he has twice challenged for the 250cc title and finished second in the 125cc championship in 2003. His best home result was fourth in the 2011 Moto2™ race.

Even with a population of only 32,000, San Marino have produced a double World Champion in Manuel Poggiali who won the 2001 125cc title and then the 2003 250cc crown in his rookie season. Unfortunately after three incredible years, Poggiali was unable to recapture his early form and left the MotoGP™ World Championship in 2008 having raced for Aprilia, Gilera and even KTM.

MotoGP, 2015, GRAN PREMIO TIM DI SAN MARINO E DELLA RIVIERA DI RIMINI, Valentino Rossi, Manuel Pagliani, Alex de Angelis, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, E-Motion IodaRacing Team

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