Valentino Rossi

Factory Movistar Yamaha Team #46 Italian

2017 Fifth in the MotoGP World Championship

He is one of the most successful motorcycle racers of all time, with nine Grand Prix World Championships to his name - seven of which are in the premier class. Rossi also owns the Sky Racing VR46 Team, which campaigns in the Moto2 and Moto3 of the World Grand Prix motorcycle Championships.

Following in his fathers footsteps, Graziano Rossi a former motorcycle racer, he started racing in Grand Prix in 1996 for Aprilia in the 125cc category and won his first World Championship the following year. From there, Rossi moved up to the 250cc category with Aprilia and won the 250cc World Championship in 1999.

He was still a child when the family moved to Tavullia. Valentino first began riding at a very young age. Rossi's first racing was in karting. Fuelled by his mother, Stefania's, concern for her son's safety, Graziano purchased a kart as substitute for the bike. However, the Rossi family trait of perpetually wanting to go faster prompted a redesign; Graziano replaced the 60cc motor with a 100cc national kart motor for his then 5 year old son.

Valentino won the regional kart championship in 1990. After this he took up minimoto and before the end of 1991 had won numerous regional races.

Rossi continued to race karts and finished fifth at the national kart championships in Parma. Both Valentino and Graziano had started looking at moving into the Italian 100cc series, as well as the corresponding European series, which most likely would have pushed him into the direction of Formula One. However, the high cost of racing karts led to the decision to race minimoto exclusively.

In 1993, with the help from his father, Virginio Ferrari, Claudio Castiglioni and Claudio Lusuardi (who ran the official Cagiva Sport Production team), he rode a Cagiva Mito 125cc motorcycle, which he damaged in a first corner crash no more than a hundred metres from the pit lane. He finished ninth that race weekend.

Although his first season in the Italian Sport Production Championship was varied, he achieved a pole position in the season's final race at Misano, where he would ultimately finish on the podium. By the second year, Rossi had been provided with a factory Mito by Lusuardi and won the Italian title.

After graduating to the premier class in 2000, Rossi won the 500cc World Championship with Honda in 2001, the MotoGP World Championships (also with Honda) in 2002 and 2003 and continued his streak of back to back championships by winning the 2004 and 2005 titles after leaving Honda to join Yamaha, before regaining the title in 2008 and retaining it in 2009. Rossi left Yamaha to join Ducati for the 2011 season, but it was confirmed in 2012 that he would rejoin Yamaha for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Rossi suffered two winless seasons while at Ducati.

Rossi came close to winning the 2015 title after several years out of contention, leading the championship for most of the season only to lose out in the final round to his Yamaha team mate Jorge Lorenzo.

The end of that season was marred with controversy following Rossi having a coming together on track with Marc Márquez, causing the Spaniard to crash. Rossi was given a grid penalty for the final round and Rossi accused Marquez of deliberately trying to harm his championship, something Marquez repeatedly denied.

Feedback from riders and experts showed a generalized consensus that Marquez's manoeuvres were within the rules, but aggressive - with Race Director Mike Webb officially acknowledging that there was blame on both sides. Marquez's manoeuvres exasperated Rossi, prompting an illegal response, although Lorenzo eventually stated to the media he was helped by Marquez not making serious moves trying to overtake him. However, the controversial rivalries between Rossi and Marquez appeared to come to an end at the 2016 Catalan Grand Prix, when Rossi and Marquez shook hands in parc ferme.

Rossi is first in all time 500cc/MotoGP race wins standings with 90 victories and second in all time overall wins standings with 115 race wins, behind Giacomo Agostini with 122.

125 cc and 250 cc World Championships

In 1994, Rossi raced in the Italian 125 GP Championship with a prototype called Sandroni, using a Rotax engine. The bike was built by Guido Mancini, a former rider and mechanic who had worked, in the past, with Loris Capirossi.

In 1995, Rossi switched to Aprilia and won the Italian 125 GP Championship. He was third in the European Championship.

Rossi had some success in the 1996 World Championship season, failing to finish five of the season's races and crashing several times. Despite this, in August he won his first World Championship Grand Prix race at Brno in the Czech Republic on an AGV Aprilia RS125R. He finished the season in ninth position and proceeded to dominate the 125 cc World Championship in the following 1997 season, winning 11 of the 15 races.

By 1998, the Aprilia RS250 was reaching its pinnacle and had a team of riders in Valentino Rossi, Loris Capirossi and Tetsuya Harada. He later concluded the 1998 250 cc season in second place, 23 points behind Capirossi. In 1999, however, he won the title, collecting five pole positions and nine wins.

500cc GP World Championship

Honda 2000-2001

Rossi was rewarded in 2000 for his 250 cc World Championship by being given a ride with Honda in what was then the ultimate class in World Championship motorcycle racing, 500 cc. Retired 500 cc World Champion Mick Doohan, who also had Jeremy Burgess as chief engineer, worked with Rossi as his personal mentor in his first year at Honda. It would also be the first time Rossi would be racing against Max Biaggi. It would take nine races before Rossi would win on the Honda but, like his previous seasons in 125 and 250, it would bode well for a stronger second season as he finished second to Kenny Roberts Jnr., Rossi recorded only two wins during the season, winning in Great Britain and Brazil.

Rossi won his first 500 cc World Championship in 2001, winning 11 races in the final year of that class and collected 325 points, 106 points ahead of Biaggi, who became Rossi's main rival during the season, and Rossi was the first and only satellite rider to win the title. Also during the season, Rossi teamed up with American rider Colin Edwards for the Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race aboard a Honda VTR1000SPW, becoming the first Italian rider to win the race. The pair won the race despite Rossi's lack of experience racing superbikes. In 2002, 500cc two strokes were still allowed, but saw the beginning of the 990 cc four stroke MotoGP class, after which the 500 cc machines were essentially obsolete.


Honda 2002-2003

2002 Season

The inaugural year for the MotoGP bikes was 2002, when riders experienced teething problems getting used to the new bikes. Rossi won the first race in wet conditions at Suzuka, beating several local riders, who were racing as wildcards. Rossi went on to win 8 of the first 9 races of the season, eventually claiming 11 victories in total. Rossi clinched his second title at Rio de Janeiro, with four races remaining in the season; he finished all but one race during the season, with a retirement at Brno.

2003 Season

It was more of the same in 2003 for Rossi's rivals when he claimed nine pole positions as well as nine race wins to claim his third consecutive World Championship, clinching the title in Malaysia. This year, Sete Gibernau became his strongest opponent, beating Rossi several times, although Rossi got the better of Gibernau in the Czech Republic, by just 0.042 seconds. The Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island is considered by many observers to be one of Rossi's greatest career moments due to unique circumstances. After being given a 10 second penalty for overtaking during a yellow flag due to a crash by Ducati rider Troy Bayliss, front runner Rossi proceeded to pull away from the rest of the field, eventually finishing more than 15 seconds ahead, more than enough to cancel out the penalty and win the race. He won the final race at Valencia with a special livery, which would turn out to be his final win for Honda.

Along with increased scepticism that the reason for his success was the dominance of the RC211V rather than Rossi, it was inevitable that Honda and Rossi would part. Mid season rumours pointed towards a possible move to Ducati, which sent the Italian press into a frenzy, the concept of Rossi on the Italian bike seemed too good to be true. Ducati did indeed try to seduce Rossi into riding their MotoGP bike, the Desmosedici, but for numerous reasons Rossi passed the offer up. Critics say that compared to the other manufacturers, Ducati had a significant way to go before being competitive even with Rossi at the helm. This proved to be the truth with Ducati's lacklustre performance in the 2004 season, which had actually been worse than their inaugural year in MotoGP in 2003. In his 2005 autobiography, What If I'd Never Tried It?, Rossi offered another reason for choosing Yamaha over Ducati, saying that the mindset at Ducati Corse was a little too similar to the one he was trying to escape from at Honda. Ultimately, Rossi signed a two year contract with rivals Yamaha reportedly worth in excess of US $12 million; a price no other manufacturer, not even Honda, was willing to pay.

Yamaha 2004-2010

2004 Season

With the traditional first race of the season at Suzuka off the list due to safety considerations following the fatal accident of Daijiro Kato, the 2004 season started at Welkom in South Africa. Rossi won the race, becoming the only rider to win consecutive races with different manufacturers, having won the final race of the previous season on his Honda bike. His fourth place finish at Jerez saw the end of a 23 race podium streak. He failed to finish in Brazil and Qatar but Rossi would go on to win eight more Grand Prixs in the season, primarily battling Sete Gibernau, with Rossi clinching the championship at the penultimate race of the season at Phillip Island, beating Gibernau by just 0.097 seconds to do so. Rossi ended the season with 304 points to Gibernau's 257, with Max Biaggi third with 217 points.

Rossi's emotional first win on the Yamaha

2005 Season

In 2005, Rossi captured his 7th World Championship and fifth straight MotoGP Championship after winning 11 races including wins in 3 rain affected races at Shanghai, Le Mans and Donington. His only non podium result was a retirement at Motegi. Rossi finished with a total of 367 points, 147 points ahead of second place finisher Marco Melandri, and Nicky Hayden finished third with 206 points.

2006 Season

The 2006 MotoGP season started off with Rossi, once again, being the favourite to take the Championship, but he had trouble in the first half of the season, including mechanical failures at Shanghai and Le Mans. Rossi did however, win several races, in Qatar, Italy, Catalunya, Germany and Malaysia. Hayden held the points lead throughout most of the season, but Rossi was slowly working his way up the points ladder. It was not until Motegi when Rossi finally grabbed 2nd in the points race behind Hayden. In the Portuguese Grand Prix, the penultimate race of the season, Hayden was taken out by his teammate, Dani Pedrosa, and did not finish the race. This led to Rossi taking the points lead with only one race left in the season. However, Rossi crashed early in Valencia, the last race, and Hayden went on to win the championship, ahead of Rossi.

Rossi and Edwards aboard the Yamaha in Fiat 500 colours

2007 Season

Rossi returned to MotoGP for the 2007 season, riding the new Yamaha YZR-M1 800 cc. In the first race in Qatar he came second to Casey Stoner on the Ducati Desmosedici. Rossi won the second race of the season in Spain, and would win three more races that year - at Assen, Estoril and Mugello - but retired from races at the Sachsenring and Misano. Stoner dominated the season, winning ten races to take his first title, 125 points clear of second place Dani Pedrosa. Pedrosa's win in the last race at Valencia combined with Rossi's retirement meant that he beat Rossi, by a single point in the Championship. This was Rossi's lowest championship position since his first season in 1996 in 125s.

2008 Season

For 2008 Rossi changed to Bridgestone tyres. The season started slowly with a fifth place finish in Qatar, but he took his first win in Shanghai, and also won the next two races at Le Mans and Mugello. From that race, Rossi was on the podium of every remaining race - except Assen, where he crashed on the first lap and finished 11th - winning a total of nine races in the season. His victories at Laguna Seca - after a pass on Stoner down the "Corkscrew" corner, who later crashed but continued and took the second place - and at a rain shortened race in Indianapolis, meant that Rossi had won at every circuit on the calendar, at that time. His win at Motegi was his first MotoGP victory at the track, and became the first Yamaha rider to win at the Honda owned circuit. The victory at Motegi won Rossi his first 800cc MotoGP title, his sixth in the premier category, and eighth overall.

2009 Season

The 2009 season saw Rossi win six races to win his ninth championship title, beating his teammate Jorge Lorenzo into second place by 45 points, clinching the title at Sepang in wet conditions. Six wins was the lowest number of wins Rossi has had in a championship winning season, the previous lowest was nine in 1999 in the 250 cc class and 2003, 2004 and 2008 in MotoGP. Rossi also failed to win at Mugello, for the first time since 2001. The most dramatic victory of the season came at Barcelona, beating Lorenzo by 0.095 seconds. Rossi also won a close race in Germany, winning by 0.099 seconds.

Rossi celebrated his 100th career victory

His victory in the Dutch TT at Assen in the Netherlands. It was Rossi's 100th victory, becoming only the second rider in motorcycle grand prix history - after Giacomo Agostini - to reach 100 wins.

Rossi at the Isle of Man TT

On 8 June 2009, Valentino Rossi rode a Yamaha R1 around the famous Snaefell Mountain Course in an exhibition lap at the 2009 Isle of Man TT, alongside Agostini, in what was called 'The Lap of the Gods'. This had been delayed by 48 hours due to bad weather. He also performed the garlanding ceremony for the Superbike podium, bestowing the podium of John McGuinness, Steve Plater and Guy Martin.

2010 Season

The 2010 season began with Rossi taking victory in the first race of the season in Qatar, after early leader Casey Stoner crashed out. Rossi injured his shoulder and back while training on a motocross bike after the Japanese Grand Prix was postponed to October due to the disruption to air travel after the second eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland. The following two rounds in Spain and France, Rossi was beaten by teammate Lorenzo with Rossi complaining about shoulder pain. The injury was not taken seriously initially and was expected to cure in a few weeks, but did not turn out as expected and the ligament tear in the shoulder failed to sufficiently heal.

On 5 June 2010 at his home race at Mugello, Rossi crashed in the second free practice session, around the fast Biondetti corner, at around 120 mph (190 km/h). Rossi suffered a displaced compound fracture of his right tibia, and after post surgical care close to his home in the hospital at Cattolica, it was diagnosed that he was likely to be out for most of the season. It was the first time that Rossi had missed a race in his Grand Prix career. Rossi made a comeback at Brno. On 7 July, Rossi rode at Misano on a Superbike World Championship specification Yamaha YZF-R1 provided by the Yamaha World Superbike Team to test his leg's recovery. He completed 26 laps during two runs, with a best lap time that was around two seconds off the pace of recent World Superbike times at the circuit. At the conclusion of the session, Rossi complained of discomfort, reporting pain in both his leg and his shoulder. On 12 July, Rossi took part in another test at Brno, after which Rossi stated he was happier and a lot more in form.

After an observation by the Chief Medical Officer on the Thursday before the weekend, Rossi made his return at the German Grand Prix, two rounds earlier than expected and only 41 days after the accident. He managed to end the race in fourth place after a battle with Casey Stoner for third before a third place finish at Laguna Seca. He added another race victory to his name at Sepang, Malaysia on his way to collecting ten podiums throughout the season, including five podiums in a row in the final run in of the season, where he finished third in the overall standings.

Ducati 2011-2012

2011 Season

On 15 August 2010, after the Brno race, Rossi confirmed he would ride for the Factory Ducati MotoGP Team, signing a two year deal starting in 2011, joining former Honda racing teammate Nicky Hayden in the team. He tested the Ducati Desmosedici race bike for the first time in Valencia on 9 November 2010, making his first appearance since 1999, on an Italian motorcycle. Rossi underwent surgery on his shoulder which he injured during the 2010 season, in order to be ready for preseason testing in Malaysia. After original progress during the first test, the Ducati bike failed to meet Rossi's or the team's expectations at the second Malaysian test and left Rossi highly unsatisfied, having finished over 1.8 seconds behind Casey Stoner's pace setting Honda.

Rossi started the season finishing seventh in Qatar. Before a fifth in wet conditions at Jerez, despite a collision with Casey Stoner, which Rossi later apologised for. Another fifth place followed in Portugal, before a third place at Le Mans, benefiting from a collision between Dani Pedrosa and Marco Simoncelli, with Pedrosa retiring from the race and Simoncelli given a ride through penalty. Rossi then finished the next four races inside the top six, with a best of fourth at Assen. Ninth at the Sachsenring, was followed by a pair of sixth places at Laguna Seca and Brno, and a tenth place at Indianapolis.

The fatal Simoncelli crash with Rossi and Edwards
Hover your pointer over the photo to see the sequence.

A seventh place finish at Misano was followed by a tenth place finish in Aragon, before a first lap retirement in Japan, after contact with Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies, which left Rossi with a blow to his finger. He also retired in Australia, crashing out midway through the race. In Malaysia, Rossi qualified ninth but was involved in a collision with Marco Simoncelli and Colin Edwards on the second lap of the race. Simoncelli fell while running fourth, landing in the path of Edwards and Rossi, who both hit Simoncelli's Honda with Simoncelli's helmet also coming off in the incident. Simoncelli was killed instantly, and the race was cancelled. At the final race in Valencia, Rossi retired at the first corner after Alvaro Bautista fell from his bike and took down Rossi, teammate Hayden and Randy de Puniet with him in the process. With his retirement, Rossi finished a season winless for the first time in his Grand Prix career, and finished seventh place in the championship.

2012 Season

Rossi started the 2012 season slowly with a tenth place in Qatar, ninth at Jerez and seventh in Portugal, At Le Mans he scored his first podium of the season; he was involved in a fight for third position from the early stages of the race with Tech 3 pairing Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow, but both riders hit trouble and left Rossi on his own. Rossi later closed down Casey Stoner, and passed him in the closing stages to finish second, his best result on the Ducati. Rossi finished seventh in Catalunya, while at Silverstone, Rossi was fastest in the first free practice session, but finished the race in ninth. After a thirteenth place finish at Assen, Rossi finished sixth at the Sachsenring and fifth at Mugello. He scored his second podium of the season at Misano in second and ultimately finished sixth in the final championship standings, with 163 points.

Return to Yamaha 2013 to present

2013 Season

On 10 August, it was confirmed that Rossi would leave the factory Ducati team at the end of the 2012 season, after two seasons with the team. Later that day, it was also announced that Rossi would rejoin the Yamaha factory team until the end of the 2014 season, resuming his partnership with Jorge Lorenzo. Rossi was reacquainted with the Yamaha, when he tested the bike over 13-14 November 2012 at a post season test at Valencia. However, rain prevented him from posting an accurate lap time, until he next tested the 2013 machine over 5-7 February 2013, in Sepang, where he posted a 3rd fastest time of 2:00.542 out of 28 riders, clocking 0.442 seconds from pace setter Dani Pedrosa; and just 0.113 seconds off teammate Jorge Lorenzo.

He kicked off the season with second place at the season opener in Qatar, followed by 6th at Circuit of the Americas, and 4th at Jerez. At Le Mans, he crashed but was able to finish in 12th place, which was followed by a crash at his home race in Mugello after making contact with Alvaro Bautista. In Catalunya he finished 4th.

On 29 June 2013 Rossi won the Dutch TT at Assen, his first MotoGP win since Malaysia in 2010 - a 46 race winless streak - after passing Dani Pedrosa on the sixth lap of the race. He finished third in the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring on 14 July, behind race winner Marc Márquez and Cal Crutchlow. At the United States Grand Prix at Laguna Seca, Rossi finished in third place, his third consecutive podium finish. Before the end of the season, he obtained two more third place finishes in Aragon and Australia, finishing fourth in the final championship standings, with 237 points. Throughout the season Rossi battled consistently among the second group of riders, along with Cal Crutchlow, Stefan Bradl and Alvaro Bautista.

2014 Season

At the end of the 2013 season, Rossi announced the conclusion of his long collaboration with crew chief Jeremy Burgess, who was replaced by Silvano Galbusera, the former crew chief of Marco Melandri in the Superbike World Championship.

Rossi started the season well, with second place finishes in the season opening Qatar Grand Prix - after battling with Marquez until the last lap for the victory - and at the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez. He achieved his third second place of the season at the French Grand Prix. On 1 June 2014, Rossi appeared in his 300th Grand Prix race, at his home round at Mugello. He finished the race in third place. At the San Marino Grand Prix at Misano, Rossi took his first win of the season - the first non Honda win of 2014 - ahead of teammate Lorenzo. The victory pushed him past the 5,000 career points total, the first and so far only rider to achieve this.

At the Aragon Grand Prix, Rossi qualified in sixth place and had been making progress up the order in the race, when he ran wide onto the grass - damp due to the wet conditions - and crashed heavily. He lost consciousness briefly after the crash or as Rossi put it: "I had a little nap", and was transferred to a hospital in Alcaniz for a precautionary CT scan. Rossi took his second victory of 2014, at Phillip Island, benefiting from an accident for Marquez, while he was leading the race. It was Rossi's sixth win at the circuit, after five successive wins from 2001 to 2005. Rossi took his first pole position since the 2010 French Grand Prix in Valencia, his 60th pole position in Grand Prix racing. He finished in second place behind Marquez in the race, and as a result, he finished the season with 295 points - his highest points tally since the 2009 season - which was enough to finish as championship runner up, 67 points behind Marquez.

2015 Season

Rossi started the 2015 season - his 20th at World Championship level - by taking victory in the opening race in Qatar; it was his first win in a season opening race since 2010. Rossi held off Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso to complete his 109th Grand Prix victory, while Dovizioso's teammate Andrea Iannone finished third, completing an all Italian podium - the first since the 2006 Japanese Grand Prix. After achieving a third place behind Marc Márquez and Andrea Dovizioso in the Grand Prix of the Americas in Texas, USA. Rossi took a second victory of the season in Argentina, consolidating his championship lead, becoming the first rider to win a race using an extra hard Bridgestone rear tyre. He recorded his eighth successive podium finish - and the 200th of his Grand Prix career - with a third place in Spain, and kept the run going with a second place in France, and a third on home soil at Mugello.

Rossi finished second to Lorenzo in Catalunya, to maintain the championship lead over his teammate by one point. Rossi took his first pole position of the season at Assen, his 61st pole position in Grand Prix racing, and achieved his third victory of the season; it was his first win the race from pole position since the 2009 San Marino Grand Prix — and his twelfth successive podium - after a race long battle with Marquez, he also extended his championship lead to ten points over Lorenzo, who finished third. Rossi further extended his championship lead at Sachsenring with a third, and continued his podium streak with third place finishes at Indianapolis, and Brno. Lorenzo's win in Brno gave him the championship lead over Rossi, by virtue of more wins at that point. Rossi returned to the championship lead with his fourth victory of 2015 at Silverstone, after Marquez, who had been chasing him for the majority of the race, crashed out in wet conditions, while Lorenzo could only finish fourth. The podium streak of 16 races ended with a fifth place finish at Misano, but Rossi extended his championship lead to 23 points after Lorenzo crashed out. Lorenzo won the Aragon Grand Prix with Rossi in third, to cut the gap to fourteen points with four races remaining. The pair's results were enough for the Yamaha team to clinch their respective title, their first since 2010.

In Japan, Rossi extended his championship lead to eighteen with a second place finish to Dani Pedrosa in drying conditions. Lorenzo had started on pole but faded to third with tyre issues. Lorenzo cut the lead to eleven in Australia, with a second place finish to Rossi's fourth. Lorenzo further cut the lead to seven, after a second place finish in Malaysia; Rossi finished third after a collision with Marquez, in which he accrued three penalty points - enough to enforce a start from the back of the grid for the final race in Valencia. Rossi made it up to fourth in the race, but with Lorenzo winning the race, Lorenzo took the championship by five points.

2016 Season

Rossi began the 2016 season with fourth place in Qatar, albeit just two seconds from victory. In the next race in Argentina, Rossi returned to the podium with second place behind Marc Márquez after a collision between Ducati riders Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso on the last lap for which Iannone was penalised. The race was split into two parts similar to the 2013 Australian Grand Prix after concerns over Michelin rear tyres forced riders into making a pitstop to change bikes, Rossi had fought with Marquez for the lead in the first half of the race but fell back to fourth on his second bike before the last lap incident between the Ducati's. At COTA, in Austin, Texas, USA, Rossi suffered his first DNF since the 2014 Aragon Grand Prix, bringing an end to a run of 24 consecutive top five finishes after crashing at the start of the third lap. At Jerez, Rossi led the race from start to finish with the exception of one corner to Jorge Lorenzo, after gaining his 52nd pole position, the race marked the first time in his MotoGP career that Rossi led every lap of a race from pole position. At Le Mans, Rossi started a lowly seventh on the grid but recovered in the race to finish second with the fastest lap of the race. Rossi suffered an engine failure in his home race at Mugello when closely following Lorenzo for the lead after starting from pole position. It was Rossi's first technical failure since the 2007 San Marino Grand Prix. Rossi bounced back at the Catalunya by winning from seventh on the first lap after a late race battle with Marquez. Rossi dedicated the victory to the family of former Moto2 rider Luis Salom, who had been killed following a crash in Friday practice. The first race held on Sunday at Assen saw disappointment for Rossi as wet conditions saw him fall from a comfortable lead in a restarted race following a red flag in torrential conditions. Assuming the lead in the second race, Rossi set the fastest lap but continued to push before crashing due to what he called a "stupid mistake". More rain at the Sachsenring saw Rossi in contention for victory again, however a delayed decision to change bikes in the drying conditions, as he did in the 2015 San Marino Grand Prix combined with using intermediate tires instead of slicks like Marquez, saw him come home 8th.

After the summer break, MotoGP's return to Austria for the first time since 1997, saw Ducati dominate for a 1 2 finish, Rossi coming a close 4th behind Jorge Lorenzo. Another wet race in Brno saw Rossi go against the majority of the field in choosing the harder rear wet tyre. Initially it seemed an error as he fell from 6th to 12th but he recovered throughout the race to finish 2nd to Cal Crutchlow. Silverstone saw Rossi line up second on the grid behind pole sitter Crutchlow, and following an intense battle with Marquez, eventually finishing third behind Crutchlow and first time race winner Maverick Viñales. A week later Rossi finished second at his home race of Misano. After leading for the majority of the race he was overhauled by Dani Pedrosa in the closing laps. Rossi again led for a period in Aragon before eventually finishing third.

The flyaway races began badly for Rossi after crashing out of second place in Motegi having started from pole. Victory for Marquez saw him crowned champion. Rossi started 15th in Phillip Island after a rain affected qualifying but recovered to finish second in the race. Rossi secured second place in wet conditions at Sepang behind Andrea Dovizioso having again led for periods, the result securing second place in the championship for the third year in a row. The season concluded as 2015 did, with fourth place in Valencia, after a long battle with Iannone.

2017 Season

After a difficult winter testing period for the first race in Qatar however he appeared to make a breakthrough, moving from 10th on the grid to finish third.

Rossi continued his improvement by finishing second in Argentina and the US to take the lead of the Championship after three races.

The European season began disappointingly with 10th at Jerez, Spain, this was followed by a slip off on the last lap at Le Mans in France, while battling teammate Vinales for the win, Rossi also lost the championship lead after the race.

After the French race, Rossi had a motocross training crash which initially put his participation at Mugello under threat, ultimately he passed a late fitness test and finished the race in 4th.

A week later at Barcelona Yamaha struggled as they did in Jerez in the hot conditions as Rossi came home in 8th.

Rossi took his first victory of the season at Assen after a late race battle with Danilo Petrucci with slick tyres on a damp track, the older Italian prevailing by just 0.063 seconds. The result also made Rossi the oldest race winner in the MotoGP era, surpassing Troy Bayliss.

Valentino Rossi qualified 9th at the Sachsenring, Germany, he made steady progress in the race. Passing several riders to finished fifth after a battle with Vinales.

In the Brno MotoGP race, Czech Republic, Rossi was set to take pole until the last minute of qualifying, he was beaten by Marquez by 0.092 of a second.

Marquez, from pole, got a lightening start with Rossi hard on his heels. Lorenzo passed them both from 6th and took the lead. Rossi moved up to second place on lap two and was chasing after Lorenzo. Rossi soon was past the Ducati rider and took the lead. Rossi changed bikes and was busy working his way past the racers to fifth place. He soon caught Cal Crutchlow. Rossi getting by him. Rossi could have challenged for victory if he'd changed bikes earlier. But he never gave up, he fought his way back, getting passed ten racers from 14th to finish fourth.

Rossi qualified seventh for the Austrian GP, Speilberg circuit in Austria. In the race Rossi was in contention but lost ground with an off track excursion and with tyre troubles. He still managed to come seventh.

Again in the British GP Silverstone, Northants, Great Britain, Valentine Rossi thought he'd got pole, but Marc Márquez took it with the fastest ever lap at Silverstone. Marquez made a good start but Valentino Rossi passed him on turn one. Rossi kept the lead for 17 laps. Maverick Viñales, Andrea Dovizioso, Marc Márquez and Cal Crutchlow not far behind. Dovizioso started sixth, taking Rossi with only three laps of the race left. He was able to pull away and make a gap from Rossi and Maverick Viñales passed Rossi and chased after Dovi. Rossi finished his 300th premiere class race in third.

Rossi missed his home race at San Marino, Rimini, Italy, as the week prior Valentino broke his leg in an enduro accident.

For the Aragon MotoGP race, in Alcaniz, Spain. Only three weeks after breaking his right leg, Valentino Rossi was back. He wasn't sure if he'd be able to race.

In qualifying amazingly, Rossi topped the time sheets! Vinales took pole in the last minute. Lorenzo took 2nd pushing Rossi to third.

In the race Lorenzo led, Rossi took Vinales, to take second. Rossi was behind Jorge Lorenzo for 11 laps. It was Lorenzo, Rossi, Dovizioso and Marquez, who soon got past Dovizioso and Rossi. Marquez took Lorenzo, Pedrosa passed Rossi for third. Vinales took Rossi, bravely he held third for two thirds of the race. Finishing fifth just 22 days after his crash.

In Qualifying for the Japanese MotoGP, at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit in Japan, Valentino Rossi slid off in the tricky conditions, taking 12th place.

In the race Rossi was passing riders well until disaster struck. He hi sided his Yamaha on lap 7. He came down hard, fortunately not injuring his leg he broke recently and was out the race.

For the Australian MotoGP, Phillip Island, Melbourne, Australia, after a challenging practice Rossi was out the top 10 so had to go in Qualifying 1, Rossi got the fasted time and was promoted to Q2 and got seventh on the grid.

Miller led the race at the start, Rossi shot from seventh on the grid to second. Rossi and Vinales, were the first to get by Miller. Rossi lead for several laps and Vinales, Marquez, Iannone, Zarco and Crutchlow chased. A battle royale commenced! Throughout the race, the lead changed many many times. It was a hectic race. Rossi and Marques battled for the lead Marquez got passed.

Zarco hitting Rossi as he tried to take second. The hot battle for the podium was between Rossi, Zarco and Vinales. Rossi managed to find his way past. Rossi pipped Vinales millimetres in front of Zarco.

The Malaysian MotoGP race at Sepang, Malaysia, saw Valentino Rossi qualifying fourth. But the conditions didn't suit the Yamaha, after a bad start Rossi fought his way through to finish to finish seventh behind Petrucci.

For the final race of the year, Rossi struggled in qualifying for the Spanish MotoGP, in Valencia, Spain, to get seventh. Battling all through the race, Suzuki's Álex Rins managed to pass him to take fourth with struggling Valentino Rossi to fifth spot.

After leading the Championship earlier in the year, Valentino Rossi finished the 2017 MotoGP World Championship in fifth.

Valentine Rossi's family.

Mum, Valentino and Luca, his half brother.

Graziano Rossi, his father, born 14th March 1954 in Pesaro, Italy, was an Italian former Grand Prix motorcycle road racer. He raced in the FIM World Championship from 1978 to 1982.

He began racing in 1977 riding on a Suzuki in the 500cc class. In 1978 he raced in the FIM 500cc World Championship, first race was at the Paul Armagnac Circuit, Nogarou, south west France where he finished sixth. He had his best year in 1979 when he won three victories and five podiums in the 250 class aboard a Morbidelli, finishing third in the Championship.

Graziano Rossi leads Kenny Roberts

His best year came in the 500cc class came in 1980, riding for the Nava Olio Fiat Suzuki team on a 500 Suzuki, his best result was a second at Assen, Netherlands, he came fifth in the Championship.

From 1989 to 1993 he raced in the Italian Touring Car Championship and finished 12th in 1989. , also raced in the Italian Super Touring Car Championship.

Stefania Palma, is the mother of Valentino Rossi.

Rossi said this about his mother "We are also very close, I try to see her as often as I can, sometime every day, she makes a great "Cotoletta alla Urbino!"

She comes to some races, not all of them, but that's ok. When she comes sometimes I feel more pressure. She also thinks she knows a lot about bikes, she talks to me about the tyres, the bike settings and how to go fast on the corners. I always just say, 'Yes mum, ok, ok! But we get on great!"

Buying presents for relatives is usually not that hard. A mother, for instance, likes to receive flowers, chocolates, or maybe some jewellery, but not when her son is a multiple MotoGP World Champion like Valentino Rossi.

Stefania had always wished for a Ducati Monster. And who could be better to grant her wish than her own son, especially when he was racing for the Italian manufacturer.

"I told him over the years that if you ever go to Ducati, then you've must get me a Ducati Monster. I've dreamed of it all my life and now finally I have it," said Stefania.

The bike is the Rossi MotoGP Replica Monster 696 with Rossi's yellow race number 46 placed on the side of the fuel tank. "I used to have a Yamaha scooter, this is so much better!" she said.

Luca Marini is the half brother of Valentino Rossi.

He started racing in 2013 in Moto3 on a FTR Honda with a wild card ride at Misano, San Marino, Rimini, Italy, when he retired after 9 laps.

In 2015 he moved to the Moto2 with the Paginas Amarillas HP 40 racing team, taking a second in just his third race. A run of good races saw him finish the year in fifth overall, and he was a regular top five contender. In 2016 he joined the Forward Racing team in Moto2. He was 23rd overall with 34 points with his best result being 6th in Germany. For 2018 he moves to the Sky Racing Team VR46 Moto2 team owned by Valentino Rossi.

Luca said this to, "My relationship with Valentino is great and it always has been. Now we see more of each other, almost every day as we go to the gym together. Our relationship has always been very good".

Valentino Rossi has had a few girl friends.

Here are some of the women he has dated.

In 2002 Valentino Rossi was rumoured to be with Martina Stella. The popular model of Tunisia, who starred in the film The Last Kiss, is regarded as Valentino Rossi's first girlfriend. Their relationship ended in 2005 after Martina caught Valentino Rossi flirting with another woman.

It did not take long for Valentino to find another woman. In 2006 he met Maddalena Corvaglia. Former Umbrella Girl, she was once close to Rossi. Although never officially being girl friend/boy friend, the couple often appear together in public. Although neither party has ever confirmed their relationship but the paparazzi photos say otherwise.

Rossi was then was linked to Arianna Matteuzzi in 2006, again neither party has admitted their relationship but again it was caught by the paparazzi cameras in the waters of Conero, Italy, while on vacation on a yacht owned by Rossi. They were often seen together.

Elisabetta Canalis is another woman who was seen with Valentino. Her relationship with him was a friendly relationship, not known to be intimate.

In 2008 Valentino was reportedly close to the German artist and model, Mandala Tayde, although seen together, it was never confirmed.

Valentino's longest relationship was with Italian super model Linda Morselli, a 25 year old model who had been an Umbrella girl for Rossi with the Ducati team in 2011.

The two first met on the MotoGP grid back in 2011 at his home circuit, Misano, Italy. Linda was quite a sensation after winning the "Miss Elegance" beauty contest in Italy.

In 2015, Rossi talking to Gazzetta Dello Sport, said that his relationship with Linda was working great, and he was contemplating having a baby in the future, preferably a son, and they spoke openly about their plans as a future family.

Here they are photographed together while they were on a yacht belonging to Rossi, the Titilla II, in Pesaro waters, off the east coast of Italy.

The two separated after the first Sepang test in 2016. The reasons for their separation remain unknown, but the Italian media says that the two had some disagreements in the January, before the first IRTA test at Sepang, in Malaysia.

Rossi and Linda were together for five years.

Rossi was thought to have been quite upset when his relationship with Linda ended in 2016, she is now dating F1 driver Fernando Alonso!

However, in December 2017, Rossi found himself the best medicine for the cold weather, according to Italian publications "Corriere della Sera" and "Tutto Il Mondo e Gossip" magazine, they both reported Valentino has been seen several times with Francesca Sofia Novello a 24 year old now a fashion and lingerie model.

The pair have kept their relationship a close secret. They have tried to keep their blossoming relationship quiet and out of the media, although there have been some photos of the pair together in the social media and in the gossip magazines.

- Roland Potter