Valentino RossiMotorcycle Racer
Born: 16 February 1979
Birthplace: Urbino, Italy
Best known as: "The Doctor," Italian MotoGP World Champion 2001-2005
Italian motorcycle racer Valentino Rossi won seven World Championships in Grand Prix racing by the time he was 26 years old, cementing his place as one of the sport's heroes. Rossi is the son of 1970s racer Graziano Rossi, and he began racing as a teenager, first with karts, then with minimotos (minibikes). In his second season racing in the Grand Prix 125cc class, he won his first World Championship (1997). Rossi moved up to the 250cc class and, in his second season, won the World Championship in 1999. He then moved up to the 500cc class, racing for Honda, and won the World Championship in 2001. Since then he has won the revised MotoGP World Championship in 2002 and 2003 with Honda, and in 2004 and 2005 with Yamaha. Charismatic, cocky and talented, he is a crowd favorite who went from being known as a clownish upstart to being dubbed "The Doctor" for his calculated and precise way of out-racing opponents.
Extra credit: Rossi wears the number 46 when he races, the same number his father used.
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