Sunday, October 25, 2009
Valentino Rossi: The winner takes it all…
With his third place finish in today’s Malaysian MotoGP at Sepang, Valentino Rossi also won the 2009 MotoGP world championship – his seventh premier class world title and ninth world title including his wins in the 125cc and 250cc classes! ‘Nine world championships is a great achievement, I'm so happy! I need to thank everyone, especially Jeremy. I couldn't have done it without Jeremy and he is like my motorcycle father. I also have to thank my family and friends. In order to stay at this level through a whole season, you have to be calm and have the right people around you and this is what I have. We've stayed concentrated and focused even in the bad moments, so we can congratulate ourselves with this ninth title,’ says The Doctor.
‘The T-shirt and the celebration is called the ‘Gallina Vecchia!’ In Italian we say that the old chicken makes good soup but it's no use for laying eggs. I am old now – 30 – but this old hen has made another egg today, and now we have nine! As usual I thought it up at home in Tavullia, together with my fan club, and we had great fun designing the T-shirt and the helmet,’ says the man who is the greatest motorcycle racer of our times.
‘I still feel just as motivated as ever. I still have a great passion to ride better and better, to be on my bike and to win. I enjoy always trying to improve and to work with my team to do this. I am 30, but I still feel great emotion and great satisfaction from success. My passion for motorcycles is what keeps me enjoying every race and helps me to keep pushing even though I am the oldest of these first top guys. I have to train harder and work harder to stay focused now, but I still enjoy the challenge as much as ever,’ says Rossi, making it clear that he isn’t going to stop racing motorcycles anytime soon.
‘I think next year will be very, very hard. We're all on the same bikes and I think it will be between me, Lorenzo, Stoner and Pedrosa again. On Tuesday in Valencia we will try the new model and I am looking forward to working on the new M1, but I have the greatest rival in my team so it won't be easy,’ says Rossi. ‘Every championship is special for different reasons, it's unforgettable every time and this day is no different. I'm World Champion once again and now I want to go and party…!’
Here are some statistics with which you can thrill and amaze (or not…) your mates down at the pub:
Rossi has now matched Mike Hailwood and Carlo Ubbiali with nine titles in all classes. Only Giacomo Agostini, with 15, has more world titles.
Rossi's win in Assen this season made him only the second rider in history to take 100 wins in all classes. Rossi now has 103, 19 less than Agostini's all-time record of 122.
Rossi holds the all-time premier class victories record, having beaten Agostini's tally at Indianapolis in 2008. He now a premier-class win tally of 77.
Rossi's win this season in Brno saw him take the all-time podium record with his 160th podium in all classes. He is also the only rider to have stood on the podium in the premier-class more than 100 times. Today's podium was his 163rd in all classes.
With 44 wins from 102 races since he joined the Japanese factory in 2004, Rossi is the most successful Yamaha rider of all time. He has 21 more wins than Kenny Roberts, Yamaha's next most successful rider.
Today's title means he has now won more titles for Yamaha than for any of the other manufacturers he has ridden for in his career.
His win at Misano, Italy, this year was his 11th win in all classes on home soil.
Rossi is the only rider in history to have won at least one GP in 14 successive seasons.
In 1997, at the age of 18, Rossi became the second youngest ever 125cc World Champion after scoring 321 points and eleven wins.
Two years later, at the age of 20, he became the youngest ever 250cc World Champion with nine wins.
In 2001 Rossi joined Phil Read as one of only two riders ever to win the 125cc, 250cc and 500cc titles.
Rossi's debut victory for Yamaha at the opening race of 2004 in South Africa made him the first rider in history to take back-to-back wins for different manufacturers.
After winning the MotoGP World Championship three times with Honda, Rossi took his fourth premier-class title with Yamaha in 2004 and became the only rider other than Eddie Lawson to win consecutive premier-class titles for different manufacturers.
Rossi remains the only rider to win the premier-class title on four different types of motorcycle: 500cc 4-cylinder two-stroke, 990cc 5-cylinder four-stroke, 990cc 4-cylinder four-stroke and 800cc 4-cylinder four-stroke.
Rossi has never missed a GP since his 125cc debut in 1996. He has started 226 successive races in all classes, 166 of which have been in the premier class. Both of these are records.
We wish The Doctor all the very best - we're sure that for as long as he chooses to race, he will continue to win!