Valentino Rossi (born February 16, 1979) is an Italian professional motorcycle racer and multiple MotoGP World Champion. He is widely considered one of the greatest motorcycle racers of all time, with 7 Grand Prix World Championships to his name. In 2006, he narrowly missed an 8th title by scoring a second place in the Championship, and now continues in the 2007 season as one of the title favourites. According to Sports Illustrated, Rossi is the 7th highest earning sports personality in the world (2nd outside the United States), earning an estimated $30 million a year.
Following his father, Graziano Rossi, Rossi started racing in Grand Prix in 1996 for Aprilia in the 125cc category and won his first World Championship the following year. From there, he moved up to the 250cc category, again with Aprilia, and won the World Championship in 1999. He won the 500cc World Championship with Honda in 2001, the MotoGP World Championships (also with Honda) in 2002 and 2003, and continued his streak of back-to-back championships by winning the 2004 and 2005 MotoGP World Championship after leaving Honda to join Yamaha.
Rossi won the world championship from his Yamaha team mate Jorge Lorenzo in 2009. In 2010 a crash at Mugello which left him with a broken leg seriously damaged his championship challenge. Rossi has signed to ride for the Ducati factory in 2011-12.
For 2012 Valentino has returned to Yamaha