Gresini celebrate 20 years in MotoGP
A walk back through time with Fausto Gresini
“Twenty years of activity is a major milestone and we are proud of it: it means that Gresini Racing can now be considered a piece of motorcycling history. The competitions have always been part of my life: first as a mechanic, then as a rider and now as a team manager. In tackling this job I have always tried to put the determination and the passion I had when I was wearing leathers and helmet, and the results were no less exciting. It’s difficult to describe the mix of emotions that I have experienced in all these years: the joys, the wins, but also difficult moments. I would first like to thank all those who have supported us over the years and who have helped to make Gresini Racing what it is today: a much more organized structure compared to the past, racing in all the three categories of the World Championship. This is our pride and it’s the completion of a project that I really wanted. I can see the future of Gresini Racing just like that: a team involved all-round in the Grand Prix World Championship, able to offer to the young riders a path to the pinnacle of motorcycle racing. It’s an exciting challenge for me, and who knows that it can’t continue for the next twenty years!”.
1997 – A MEMORABLE DEBUT The debut of the Gresini Racing team in the 500cc class has the flavor of motorcycling of the past: the team is set up in less than two months and in the opening GP, aboard a very private Honda NSR500 V-twin machine, Alex Barros is fighting for the top positions before being forced to slow down due to technical problems. 1997 – THE JOY OF THE FIRST PODIUM Donington, British Grand Prix: in his eleventh Grand Prix start, Gresini Racing enters already in the Olympus of motorcycling. Alex Barros is third behind the factory Hondas of Doohan and Okada, collecting thus the first in a long series of podium finishes.
1999 – THE FIRST VICTORY WITH CAPIREX In 1999 the team debuted in the 250cc class with a factory Honda NSR for Loris Capirossi, former teammate of Fausto Gresini when he was racing in 125cc. Capirex claims the first victory of the team in the Malaysian Grand Prix, and finished the season in third place.
2001 – KATO RECORDMAN IN 250cc 2001 is the perfect season of Daijiro Kato: riding his Honda the little Japanese star breaks all records in the 250cc class, winning 11 of the 16 Grand Prix races on the calendar, clinching Gresini Racing’s first World Title.
2002 – RIGHT AT THE TOP WITH THE NEW HONDA RC211V Gresini Racing team is back in the premier class with rising star Kato: from the Czech Republic GP, Honda gives the new, five-cylinder four-stroke RC211V jewel to the Japanese rider and Daijiro is immediately at the top, climbing the second step of the podium.
2003 – GIBERNAU IN THE NAME OF KATO In the opening round of the season at Suzuka, the star of Daijiro Kato turns off forever: through a great difficulty time, the team and Sete Gibernau find the strength to continue to fight, dedicating him four wins and finishing the year second in the Championship.
2004 – SETE CHALLENGES VALENTINO Four wins, eight podium finishes and six pole positions: Gresini Racing confirms itself at the top of the MotoGP and Sete Gibernau, who stars in memorable battles with Valentino Rossi, is once again runner-up in the World Championship.
2004 – A ONE-TWO TO ENTER THE ÉLITE Sete Gibernau first, Colin Edwards second: in the 2004 Grand Prix of Qatar, the Gresini Racing team puts their two bikes in front of everyone, thus entering the restricted élite of teams that can boast a one-two in the premier class.
2005 – ITALY WINNING WITH MARCO MELANDRI Another dream of Fausto Gresini comes true: to bring at the top of MotoGP an Italian rider. With two wins and seven podium finishes, Marco Melandri surprises everyone closing the season as runner-up in the World Championship.
2006 – STILL THE BEST AMONG THE SATELLITE TEAMS In 2006 come four more victories in MotoGP, three with Marco Melandri and one with Toni Elias in a spectacular Portuguese GP at Estoril, won in a sprint finish on Valentino Rossi. Fausto Gresini’s team is therefore once again the best satellite team in a category which has become increasingly competitive.
2007 – THE LAGUNA MONSTER 2007 is not an easy season, but Marco Melandri, fifth at end of the year, is still protagonist of memorable races: on the strip of asphalt that winds around the famous “Corkscrew” at Laguna Seca, the Italian takes a sensational podium despite a sore ankle after a big crash in Qualifying.
2008 – THE BEGINNING OF THE LONG PARTNERSHIP WITH SAN CARLO San Carlo joins the team in 2008: a long partnership that will accompany the team in MotoGP for five years, until 2012. In 2009, Toni Elias and Alex De Angelis get two consecutive podiums, at Brno and Indianapolis, closing the season in seventh and eighth position in the standings, respectively.
2010 – THE SEVEN WONDERS OF ELIAS Seven wins, four of which consecutive, give to the Gresini Racing team and Toni Elias the first World Title in Moto2, the new four-stroke intermediate class. An overwhelming supremacy for the Spanish, who is crowned champion with three races to go.
2011 – SIC, A GREAT FAIRY TALE 2011 is the season which consecrates Marco Simoncelli among the MotoGP top riders: a wonderful story started in Barcelona with a stunning pole position in Spaniards’ home race, continued with the two podium finishes at Brno and Phillip Island and unfortunately interrupted on that very sad 23 October in Sepang.
2011 – THE TRIUMPH OF PIRRO IN THE NAME OF SIMONCELLI In the race after the terrible Malaysian GP, at Valencia, Michele Pirro gets a thrilling victory in Moto2. A very touching moment for the entire team, racing in the memory of SIC.
2012 – TRIPLE COMMITMENT In the newly formed Moto3 category, Fausto Gresini recognizes the ideal ground for a project aimed at the promotion of young Italian talents. The commitment in the smaller displacement, which is added to those in the Moto2 and MotoGP classes, starts with a Honda entrusted to the young Niccolò Antonelli.
2012/2013/2014 – THREE GREAT SEASONS WITH BAUTISTA In the three seasons 2012, 2013 and 2014 Alvaro Bautista is one of the undisputed protagonists of the premier class, with 28 placements in the top six in total, including three podiums. The Gresini Racing team is also racing in the CRT class, then “Open”: in 2014 rookie Scott Redding is the best among the riders aboard the Honda RCV1000R machine.
2015 – THE NEW ADVENTURE WITH APRILIA After 18 years with Honda, the 2015 season marks the beginning of a new exciting chapter in the history of Gresini Racing: the Piaggio Group chooses the team manager by Fausto Gresini to return to MotoGP with his glorious brand Aprilia. A great reward for the work done since 1997.
2015 – GRAND SLAM By winning the Grand Prix of San Marino and Riviera di Rimini with Enea Bastianini, Gresini Racing become the only team to have won at least one Grand Prix in all the three classes – Moto3, Moto2, MotoGP – in the new four-stroke MotoGP era. A real “grand slam” that no other team can boast.
2016 – FIVE YEARS WITH FEDERAL OIL The intermediate class of the World Championship has always given great satisfaction to Gresini Racing, with two World Titles in 2001 and 2010. Since 2012, Gresini Racing in Moto2 stands for Federal Oil, a major Indonesian partner that in 2016 reached five years of collaboration. And it’s not over…
Gresini Racing Results Highlights
2 World Titles
43 GP Wins
41 Pole Positions
547 Grand Prix Starts
6489 World Championship Points
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