Loris Capirossi

Born Apr 4, 1973
Nationality Italy Italy

Loris Capirossi is an Italian rider who currently resides in the tiny principality of Monaco. A former 250cc world champion Capirossi will look to create the same impact in MotoGP, as he did in other classes of the sport.

Having been involved in racing from a very young age, Loris came into the limelight after he won the Italian national championships in the 125c category. This moved him up to the international 125cc category in 1990 where he rode a Honda. His first two seasons were incredible. He won an incredible 3 races with 8 podium finishes on his way to the title in his very first season. He bettered his performance in 1991 when he took 5 wins and 12 podium finishes and won the whole thing again.

He moved quickly into the 250cc class in 1992 but was forced to ride with a year-old bike. He managed only a 12th place in his first season but turned things around in 1993. He won 3 races and finished on the podium on 7 occasions to come second in the standings. Although he led the standings for a long time, a poor string of results killed it towards the end. His 1994 story had a similar end. He won 4 races and ended up on the podium 9 times but could just manage third place after another poor finish.

The results may not have satisfied Capirossi but he felt that it was time to move up to the next level of racing, the 500cc class. In 1995, he boarded a Pileri Honda but his races mostly ended with poorer results than what he would have liked. His qualifying was much better though and his season ended in sixth place. He shifted to Wayne Rainey’s Yamaha team in 1996 and that brought him his first win. Even though Capirossi just managed a 10th place finish, the win as well as the 2 podium finishes was a sign of things to come.

After a relatively unsuccessful sting at the 500cc class, Loris decided that it was time to get back to the 250cc category. So in 1997, he decided to regain his reputation and ended the season in 6th place. But it was clearly visible that he was getting his touch back and so, in 1998, he fought his teammate to the title with 2 wins and 9 podium placed finishes. He stayed for one more season in the series, in 1999, but Aprilia let him go on his way and Loris rode a Honda. He took 9 podium finishes including 3 wins on his way to an impressive 3rd place finish.

That season prompted another attempt at the 500cc category. This time, he was looking to make a difference and bike permitting, Loris would have. And that is what he displayed. He took one win and four podium places on his to seventh place in the championship. Things got better next season though, and even though he didn’t win a single race, his 9 podium finishes helped him get his 3rd place standing at the end of the season. After a relatively successful season in 2001, he decided that it was time to hit the big stage and MotoGP it was.

He got two podium finishes in his first season on a Honda NSR500 to finish in 8th place but things began to change when he shifted to the Ducati factory team in 2003. He took his first win at Catalunya and went on to take fourth place in the championship. In 2004, his bike, the new GP4, had a lot of straight line speed but lacked grip on the surface and although he was down quite often, he managed to stay on the bike more than team mate Troy Bayliss. His finish was only a ninth place but that was enough to convince Ducati to keep him on for one more year.

He won two races in 2005 and took 4 impressive podium finishes on his way to sixth place in the championship. He started 2006 with a bang as he took the opening race of the season with an impressive win and took two second places in Italy and France. He was leading the championship standings when a serious accident in Spain knocked him out cold. He was unable to make it back to the restart but started slipping in his performances and came down to fifth place in the standings. He took 3 wins by the end of the season to a third place finish overall.

Capirossi had a sober 2007 season that just saw him win one race and take 4 podium finishes. He finished seventh overall but his contract was extended till 2009 and he now had a new partner in Marco Melandri for the 2008 season. Capirossi had a fallout with the team at the end of the season as Ducati asked him to become the third rider for the team, or manage a satellite team. Ducati released this news to the press before informing him and this led Capirossi to leave the Italian factory team and shift to the Suzuki team where he would be looking to better his past performances alongside Chris Vermeulen.

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