Valentino Rossi: career of Italian motorcycle racer, win record, net worth - and MotoGP retirement explained

Valentino Rossi has won nine world championships, earning him the nickname ‘The Doctor’ and said farewell to MotoGP at the Grand Prix in Valencia, where he finished 10th.

After 25 years in the sport and nine world Championships later, Valentino Rossi announced his retirement from MotoGP at a press conference before the Styrian GP in August.

Rossi raced in his final Grand Prix at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain, on Sunday 14 November 2021. The ‘Doctor’ has taken part in 44% of all MotoGPs since 1949 and finished his career fighting, coming in 10th.

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The 42-year-old is the only rider in history to win the World Championships in 125cc, 250cc, 500cc and MotoGP.

Who is Valentino Rossi?

Rossi was born in 1979 in Urbino, Italy but his family moved to Tavullia shortly after his birth. He is the son of former motorcycle racer, Graziano Rossi.

In his early childhood years, Rossi’s first love was karting and won his regional kart championship in 1990. He took up the minimoto and before the end of 1991 he had won numerous regional races.

In 1993, Rossi completed his first season in the Italian Sport Production Championship, achieving pole position in the season’s final race and finishing the race on the podium.

Rossi has nine Championship titles to his name

In his next season, Rossi had been provided with a factory Mito by Lusaudi and won the Italian title

Rossi won the Italian 125 CC Championship in 1995 having switched to Aprillia and also came third in the European Championship.

Valentino Rossi’s World Championships

Rossi began his grand prix motorcycle racing career in 1996. He finished his first seaso in ninth place with 111 points having achieved a third place at the Austrian Grand Prix, and a pole position along with his first ever race victory at the Czech Republic Grand Prix.

The next season saw Rossi win the 125cc title and he would often dress up as Robin Hood as well as carrying blow-up dolls on various occasions winning him many fans through this and future seasons.

In 1998, Rossi moved up to the 250cc class. By the end of his rookie year, Rossi finished second place with 201 points, just 23 points off the 1998 250cc champion Loris Capirossi.

Rossi became the sole driver of the official Aprilia Grand Prix Racing team in the 1999 season and continued to dominate the tracks.

Rossi - known as the Doctor- is loved by many fans for his eccentricity

He won the 1999 title in Rio de Janeiro, finishing the season in first place and achieving his second world championship title.

After the success of his last season, Rossi was then given a seat with Honda in what was then the highest class in World Championship motorcycle racing, the 500 cc. The Italian finished second in his rookie season in the 500cc class earning 209 points.

During his second season in the 500cc class, Rossi won 11 races and only finished off the podium three times. Despite a precarious season in 2000, Rossi won his first 500cc title with 325 points and added a third world championship title to his name

MotoGP was instigated in 2000 and Rossi has competed in this class with three different manufacturers for 21 years. Rossi won his first ever MotoGP title in 2001 and won every year until 2005. Rossi then came back to win the championship in 2008 and 2009.

From 2004-2010, Rossi was with Yamaha before moving to Ducati for one season and then moving back to Yamaha where he has remained.

What is Valentino Rossi’s win record?

In terms of wins, Rossi, who has earned himself the nickname of ‘The Doctor’, is the sixth most successful rider in the 2010s with 89 wins to his name. Out in front are Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa, Casey Stoner and Andrea Doviziosa.

The 42-year-old Italian has 199 podiums, 55 pole positions and has achieved a total of 5400 points.

The rider, who is widely considered to be one of the greatest motorcycle riders of all time is the only road racer to have competed in 400 or more Grand Prixs.

Valentino Rossi has famously raced as number 46 - he is set to retire at the end of 2021

Why is Rossi called ‘The Doctor’

Rossi’s nickname has been linked with him receiving an honorary degree, which in Italy entitles you to use the title Doctor for yourself. However, Rossi’s father has since said that in Italy, the term ‘Doctor’ is used as a term of respect and the nine-time world championship has quickly earned the respect of everyone around him.

‘The Doctor’ has also been linked with the surname Rossi being a common nickname for Doctors and therefore the rider decided to use it for himself.

Valentino Rossi’s retirement

During the press conference ahead of the Styrian Grand Prix, Valentino Rossi said he would retire from MotoGP at the end of the 2021 season. There have been rumours to suggest Rossi would compete in auto racing but it is not known in which championship Rossi would compete.

How much is Valentino Rossi’s net worth?

Rossi is one of, if not the, richest riders in MotoGP and his net worth is estimated to be at $160million or just under £116million.

Valentino Rossi has been in the sport for 26 years and will retire at the end of the 2021 season

Valentino Rossi at the Cheste- Valencia Grand Prix

Not much was expected of Rossi in his final race. He was sitting at number 18 in the drivers’ standings, and is not known to have a good record at the Valencia Grand Prix. However, The Doctor did not disappoint the sea of fans in yellow that awaited him in his final Grand Prix.

Speaking after the race, Rossi had said that in meetings with his team “in Valencia, we have to give the maximum because it’s the worst track for me and it’s the last race and I don’t want to arrive last.

“It was very important to make a good result, but it wasn’t easy, because already from Monday I had a lot of pressure, a lot of things to do, but I wanted to try, because most important for me was to be strong in the race.”

“It was more positive than we expected and I finished in the top 10, so this was my best race of the season and I enjoyed it very much. It means I closed my career with the top ten riders in the world and this is so important for me, it means a lot.”

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