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.