February 16, 1979 (45)
Valentino Rossi is an Italian former professional motorcycle road racer and multiple MotoGP World Champion, widely considered one of the greatest motorcycle racers of all time. Rossi has won nine Grand Prix World Championships, seven of which are in the premier class. His career spans over two decades, during which he has competed with teams such as Honda, Yamaha, and Ducati in the MotoGP category.
Rossi’s career is marked by significant achievements and records. He won his first World Championship in 1997 with Aprilia in the 125cc category, followed by the 250cc World Championship in 1999. Moving to the premier class with Honda, he won the MotoGP World Championship in 2001, 2002, and 2003. Rossi then continued his success with Yamaha, winning the championship in 2004, 2005, 2008, and 2009. His career also includes notable stints with Ducati and a return to Yamaha. Rossi’s skill and charisma have made him a fan favorite and a prominent figure in the sport.
Throughout his career, Rossi has collaborated with key figures in the motorcycle racing world. He has worked with renowned crew chiefs like Jeremy Burgess and Silvano Galbusera, and engineers such as Masao Furusawa. Rossi’s partnerships with major manufacturers like Honda, Yamaha, and Ducati have been pivotal in his career. He has also had notable rivalries and on-track battles with fellow racers such as Casey Stoner, Jorge Lorenzo, and Marc Márquez, which have added to the sport’s excitement and his legacy.
Rossi’s illustrious career is decorated with numerous awards and distinctions. He holds the record for the most podium finishes and is one of the few riders to have won World Championships in four different classes: 125cc, 250cc, 500cc, and MotoGP. Rossi has been awarded the Laureus World Sports Award for Comeback of the Year in 2011 and has received multiple FIM awards. His impact on MotoGP and his contributions to motorsport have established him as a legendary figure in motorcycle racing history.