Thursday, February 3, 2011

Loris Capirossi

Loris Capirossi (born April 4, 1973 in Castel San Pietro Terme, Bologna) is an Italian Grand Prix motorcycle road racer, who currently rides for the factory Suzuki MotoGP team. He is a former 250cc World Champion for Aprilia; Capirossi made his 300th start at the 2010 season-opening Qatar Grand Prix.Loris made his World Championship debut at 125cc level, and in his first full season of Grands Prix he took his first title aged only seventeen. He finished in the top six on ten occasions, eight of them on the podium, and took wins in Britain, Hungary and Australia. The massed Italian contingent helped him out in the final round, but it was still an impressive achievement, with 182 points scored His second season (1991) was even better, and saw him defend the 125 title fairly comfortably. He was only once off the front row of the grid, and had five pole positions, as well as four fastest laps. From thirteen rounds, he was on the rostrum for twelve, and finished sixth in the other. He came second five times, and was a winner in Australia, Malaysia, and three European venues. Of his 225 points, 200 of them counted, and were plenty enough to help him move up to the 250s. During this second season, Loris Capirosssi and his team were sponsored by AGV Helmets and AGV Sport leathers.

Capirossi moved up to 250cc class for the 1992 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season on a year-old bike. In 1993 Capirossi made his first win at Netherland Grand Prix and another two in San Marino and United States Grand Prix but finished second only four points behind Harada. It was same in 1994, this time with one win more. He finished third at the end of the season behind Max Biaggi and Tadayuki Okada.The 1995 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season was Capirossi's first season in the top-level 500cc championship, aboard a Pileri Honda, often qualifying better than he raced but still taking 6th in the series. 1996 started slightly due to Loris retired in first five from seven races, but after he has often been in points and won in the final race in Australian Grand Prix while rode for Wayne Rainey's Yamaha team. Capirossi returned to 250cc championship for 1997, battling his Aprilia team-mate, Tetsuya Harada down to the final race of the 1998 season when the two riders were involved in a controversial incident in Argentina. Harada was leading the race into the final corner of the final lap when Harada's bike was rammed from behind by Capirossi's machine, sending the Japanese rider off the track. Valentino Rossi would pass both riders for the victory. Capirossi recovered to claim second place and the world championship but, Aprilia would release him during the off-season. He moved to Honda for the 1999 season, taking third in the championship with three victories. He was involved in further controversy in the 1999 season, being black flagged at Mugello for dangerous riding after being involved with an incident with Marcellino Lucchi at the start of the race, as well as passing under yellow flags.

Video from Loris Capirossi

Capirossi returned to the 500cc championship for 2000, and has been there through its evolution to today's 800cc four-stroke MotoGP bikes. He won at his home race and finished 7th overall, one point behind Charlos Checa. 2001 season was better than year before without win during that year. Also it was the last season for 500cc class, but for 2002 season Capirossi dealt that he would ride inferior bike from 2001. 2002 was a less competitive year, hampered by a wrist injury in the 7th race of the season when he missed the chicane and turned from the track. He was not given access to Honda's 4-stroke machine in late 2002 when team-mate Alex Barros was, as he was already to leave the team.

In 2003 he joined Ducati, taking their first win at Barcelona and 4th overall, before a slightly disappointing 2004 on a bike with huge straight line speed but a lack of grip. Still, he stayed on the bike more often than team-mate Troy Bayliss, and thus stayed in the team for a 2005 season which saw him become competitive by the end of the year, aided by improving Bridgestone tyres. Capirossi and Ducati started the 2006 season with a striking victory and he had a second place in both the French and Italian grand prix, tying for first in Moto GP points with American Nicky Hayden. However, he was caught up in a multiple bike collision at the start at Barcelona, missing the restart and losing championship ground to Hayden. Though he was knocked out in this horrendous looking accident, he did not suffer very serious injuries beyond significant bruising. He returned for the next round, but a run of less competitive results saw him slip to 5th in the standings before the race at Brno. In this race he started 2nd, took the lead at the start, and pulled away from the field for an easy victory. He attributed this to a late setup change the team believe can be applied to the bike at all circuits. He moved up in the championship standings to finish 3rd overall, after taking second at the final race behind stand-in team-mate Troy Bayliss.

2007 was not as strong a season for Capirossi. Immediately following the conclusion of the 2007 USGP race at Laguna Seca, Ducati announced the signing of Marco Melandri and the extension of Casey Stoner's contract for the 2008 and 2009 seasons. This left Capirossi without a firm position on the Marlboro Ducati team; the possibilities were mooted to be a third position on the factory team, or an option to manage a satellite team. Capirossi was not informed of the decision before the story was released to the press, much to his displeasure. On 16 August 2007, Capirossi announced that he would ride with the Suzuki factory team in 2008 and 2009 seasons, alongside Australian Chris Vermeulen. 2008 was a less competitive season than year due to many weak results during the season. The only podium Capirossi had was in the Czech Republic at Brno. In Spain, Capirossi was injured and missed two races. He finished the season in tenth place, his lowest position since 1996. In 2009, his season started with a spectacular crash in Qatar, when he was in second place. In Italy, Capirossi fought with Stoner for first place but fell to fifth place due to his slower Suzuki on the main straight. He finished the season in 9th place without a podium for the first time since 1992. On 11 April 2010.

Capirossi became the first rider in the history of the sport to start 300 races, when he finished ninth in the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix. The rest of his campaign has been plagued by retirements and injury with Capirossi only finishing seven races in the season so far, and holds 17th place in the championship standings. For 2011 Capirossi announced that he would ride for Ducati Pramac Team. On Friday 11 June 2010, Capirossi rode a Suzuki around the world famous Snaefell Mountain Course on the Isle of Man as part of Suzuki's 50th anniversary at the Isle of Man TT. On completion of his lap, Capirossi described the experience as 'amazing'. Married to Ingrid Tence, the couple reside in Monaco. Their first child, a boy named Riccardo, was born on 2 April 2007. In August 2007, the Italian taxation authority announced that Capirossi is being investigated for suspected tax evasion in relation to an alleged undeclared earnings of €1.3 million (US$1.77 million) in 2002. The authority is already investigating London resident Valentino Rossi. Capirossi's manager Carlo Pernat told the press: "It's absolutely absurd. Loris really lives in Monte Carlo. I don't understand what they can hold against him. He doesn't own anything in Italy." Capirossi is today a member of the ‘Champions for Peace’ club, a group of 40 famous elite athletes committed to serving peace in the world through sport, created by Monaco-based international organization Peace and Sport

Loris Capirossi performance at Moto GP race

Loris Capirossi with his costume

Loris Capirossi with his suzuki motor

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