When someone mentions “The Doctor,” most American sports fans still think of Doctor J, Julius Erving. But for motorcycling fans around the world, “The Doctor” is a free-spirited Italian who’s arguably the greatest MotoGP rider of all time, Valentino Rossi. He was delayed on his rounds this week, but he will be making be making a house call at Austin’s new track for the inaugural Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas.
Thursday, while some of the other top riders addressed the media at the circuit, Rossi was presumably resting in bed at an area hotel. According to Yamaha racing’s managing director, Lin Jarvis, Rossi had a two and one-half hour delay while waiting in line for customs at the Chicago airport, and that delay — along with rough weather — caused him to miss his connecting flight to Austin. He ended up flying into Houston and then driving to Austin. Jarvis said. So on Thursday, “The Doctor” was trying to recover from fatigue and jet lag.
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Born: Feb. 16, 1979 in Urbino, Italy
Nickname: “The Doctor”
Also a fan: Rossi is a huge supporter of Italian soccer team Inter Milan
Rookie success: His first motorcycle Grand Prix race was in 2000 in South Africa, and he went on that season to win in Great Britain and Brazil.
- He’s the only rider to win all four of motorcycle racing’s World Championship titles: 125cc, 250cc, 500cc, and MotoGP.
- 7 Top-tier world titles (five in MotoGP, two in its predecessor, the 500cc class)
- 49 Pole positions
- 16 podium finishes in a season (2003, 2005, 2008; shares this record with Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner)
- 23 consecutive podium finishes (2002-2004)
- 79 race wins in MotoGP, 500cc class
- 170 consecutive race starts (2000-2010)