A name so synonymous with MotoGP it is hard to imagine the sport without it, yet that might happen within the uncomfortably near future.
The 41-year-old racer is born into a racing family. The son of Graziano Rossi, whose motorcycle career bloomed between 1977 and 1982. Valentino Rossi was already riding at a very young age. A family trait is, a constant need to go faster, and that is what happened. At the age of 5 years old, his dad had to replace the 60cc motor on his kart with a 100cc engine. At age 11, he won the regional kart championship. Shortly afterwards he took up minimoto and won many races in that as well. In 1993 he rode for the Cagiva Sports Production team and crashed his Cagiva Mito 125cc in the first corner roughly 100 meters from the pit lane and ended up 9th in the race. In 1995 Rossi moved over to Aprilia and not only won the Italian 125cc Championship but also came in third in the European Championship.
A Career of Long-Standing Success
Throughout his career of nearly 25 years, Rossi is second on the list of most Grand Prix wins in motorcycle racing with 115 wins. He became the only rider who has ever won the World Championship in four different classes distributed between 9 World Championship wins, ranking him 3rd on this list. In 1997 he won for Aprilia on a 125cc, in 1999 he did it again for Aprilia on a 250cc. After moving over to Honda, he won the 500cc division for them in 2001 after ending second the previous year. This was followed by a winning streak stretching from 2002 to 2005 in the MotoGP division. First for Honda and then from 2004 for Yamaha. He repeated the wins for Yahama again in 2008 and 2009.
A Bank Account of Note
The estimated figure for Rossi’s net worth is in the area of $140 million. This is the reflection of the success that he had in his racing career. Still, he remains very humble about his position and claims that he doesn’t like to be famous; he is racing purely to satisfy the passion which is driving him from within. His title as the Doctor he prefers to attribute to the fact that many doctors in Italy have the surname Rossi, rather than acknowledging that it is linked with respect and importance within the racing industry.
When is Rossi Retiring?
Earlier this year during the Yamaha Monster bikes launch in Jakarta, Rossi mentioned that he might be thinking of retirement. Age is catching up to him, and all good things must come to an end. The time spent on the bike is starting to take a physical toll on his body, and he is competing to younger, fitter and stronger men. If 2019 delivers another rather unsuccessful season for this legend, it is probably his cue to exit the sport. This will be a day of an emotional farewell to a star, a legend in time.