With his nine titles, including seven in the premier class, he is widely regarded as the greatest motorcycle racer ever, and his 26 seasons of Grand Prix racing make him unique across both motorcycling and Formula 1. Rossi has been captivating fans since he won his first Grand Prix at the age of 17 and even in his final season, at the age of 42, he has been riding faster than ever.
In Valentino Rossi: All His Races, by top journalist Mat Oxley, each and every one of these races comes under the microscope, complete with perspectives about Rossi’s achievements, the controversies, his character, and analysis of his bikes. This is a Valentino Rossi book like no other, with photos by Henk Keulemans, who was shooting grand prix racing when Rossi’s father Graziano was winning races.Early days, from karting and minimoto bikes to a first GP win, on a 125 Aprilia in the 1996 Czech GP, then onwards to claim the 125cc world title in 1997.
Moving up to the 250cc class in 1998 brought four consecutive end-of-season wins riding for Aprilia, followed by a decisive title in 1999 with nine victories.
Grabbed by Honda to race its super-successful NSR500, Rossi graduated to the ‘class of kings’ for 2000, almost becoming champion that season — but the following year he sealed
MotoGP, for 990cc four-stroke bikes, took over and Rossi immediately reigned supreme aboard his Honda RC211V, securing back-to-back titles in 2002 and 2003, before a surprise departure to uncompetitive Yamaha.
Rossi rates his first year with Yamaha, 2004, as his best: defying expectation, he won first time out on the YZR-M1 and took a fourth successive title with nine wins.
In six more seasons with Yamaha, 2005–10, Rossi collected three more championship crowns, his 2008 success especially sweet because it involved a fightback after two leaner years.
Rossi’s move to Ducati looked to be an appetising all-Italian prospect but his two winless seasons there, 2011 and 2012, were disastrous.
A return to Yamaha never quite recaptured his greatest glories, but Rossi was championship runner-up three times and came very close to another title in 2015.
Beautifully designed and