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Loris Capirossi - 2005 Rider Profile

Ducati Marlboro 2005 | Ducati Racing History
Loris Capirossi

Winner of three World Championships and more than 20 Grand Prix victories, Loris Capirossi is one of the most experienced and best-loved characters in MotoGP. The Italian, who this season contests his third MotoGP campaign with the Ducati Marlboro Team, has been renowned for his all-action riding style ever since he first started competing at world level 16 years ago. Few other riders are as spectacular to watch on track or as easy to get on with in the paddock.

Capirossi began his World Championship career way back in 1990, winning the 125 title at his very first attempt at just 17 years of age, with Marlboro Team Pileri Honda. That success made the teen star the youngest-ever world champ, an honour he still holds, despite the minimum age for 125 GP competition being lowered from 16 to 15. Ever since that amazing first coup, Capirossi has continued to impress and delight fans, retaining the 125 crown in 1991, then graduating to the 250 class, which he finally conquered in 1998 after a brief excursion into 500s. He returned to the premier class in 2000, winning that year's Italian 500 GP. In 2003, one year after the premier class went four-stroke, Capirossi joined the all-new Ducati Marlboro Team.

This partnership between Italy's longest-established GP hero and the nation's most famous motorcycle marque didn't take long to bear fruit. In June 2003 Capirossi made history when he won Ducati's first premier-class GP victory on the factory's awesome Desmosedici MotoGP bike. Despite a decade and a half in the limelight Capirossi remains one of the sport's most easygoing characters, entirely unaffected by his status as one of his country's biggest sports stars. Married to Ingrid, Capirossi enjoys the quiet life away from racing, naming motocross, country & western music and a love of animals amongst his interests. Between them, Mr and Mrs Capirossi own several cats, dogs, horses and a donkey!

Like most modern-day racers, Capirossi commenced his love affair with motorcycles at a very early age. Born just a couple of hours' drive from Ducati's home city Bologna, he started riding a friend's dirt bike when he was five, quickly learning the art of throttle control, so vital with today's extraordinarily powerful race machines. But it was roadracing that really interested him and he contested his first tarmac season at the age of 14, riding a modified Honda NS125 road bike to sixth in the Italian Production Championship. A year later he was ninth in the 125 Italian Championship aboard a Mancini, and in 1989 he showed real promise aboard a Honda in the 125 Euro series. He took fourth overall, winning four rounds as he readied himself for promotion to the World Championship scene.

Capirossi's first world crown was a truly remarkable accomplishment. Aged just 16 at the start of the 1990 season, he made his GP debut as number two rider to team-mate and ex-World Champion Fausto Gresini, now a successful MotoGP team manager. He approached the season as an apprenticeship and yet showed no fear for the experienced opposition, scoring his first podium at Misano in May, his first win at Donington Park in August and securing the title with a hard-fought third victory in the Australian season finale. With the number one plate on his Honda RS125 in 1991, Capirossi was the man everyone wanted to beat, but he admirably shrugged off the pressure, winning a further five victories for his second title.

For 1992 Capirossi moved up to the 250 class and had to master the art of riding a doubly powerful Honda RS250. Once again Capirossi proved a quick learner, and despite his bike's power disadvantage he was up with the leaders in only the third GP of the year.

For 1993 he was equipped with full-factory NSR250s and immediately fulfilled the previous season's promise. He won his first 250 GP at Assen and took two more victories to lead the series into the final race, when an incorrect tyre choice lost him the crown. His 1994 season began with wins in Austria, Germany, France and Britain but he succumbed to Biaggi's super-fast Aprilia later in the campaign, finishing third overall.

Some experts questioned the diminutive star's decision to quit 250s and join the premier 500 class with Marlboro Team Pileri Honda for 1995. But the ever-determined youngster proved them wrong by qualifying on the front row at only his second 500 GP. He qualified on the front row a further four times but struggled with machine set-up over race distance. Nevertheless, he crowned the season with a thrilling third-place finish at Catalunya.

Capirossi changed teams for the first time in 1996, joining Marlboro Yamaha Team Rainey but it was an up-and-down year, brightened only by his first 500 GP victory at Eastern Creek, Australia.

For 1997 Capirossi accepted an offer from Aprilia to return to the 250 class, where he collected 3 podiums but also several DNFs. He got to grips with the Italian V-twin the following season, taking his third world title following a controversial last-race collision with team-mate and title-rival Tetsuya Harada. In 1999 he returned to NSR250 power, ending up third overall.

Capirossi changed classes once more in 2000, returning to the premier class with Sito Pons' Honda team. He won the Italian GP and finished on the podium a further three times. The Italian put together a more consistent season in 2001, taking his year-old Honda to podium finishes in nine of the 16 races to end the year third overall. In 2002 he was once again on year-old machinery, riding an out-classed 500cc two-stroke against the new breed of 990cc four-strokes. Nonetheless he scored two podium finishes.

In 2003 Capirossi was given the envious task of spearheading Ducati's first premier-class effort in more than three decades. He had a remarkable year on the all-new Desmosedici V4 that shocked the established Japanese MotoGP teams. During June he beat Rossi to take a hugely emotional victory at the Marlboro Catalan GP after earlier scoring the bike's first pole position at Jerez. He achieved a total of five podium finishes and three poles to end the year fourth overall. Last season proved to be more difficult, Capirossi focusing on developing the new Desmosedici GP4. He enjoyed flashes of brilliance during the 16 rounds, scoring a superb podium finish at the penultimate Australian GP to end 2004 in ninth spot.

  • Born: April 4, 1973 in Castel San Pietro, Italy
  • Lives: Monaco
  • Marital status: married to Ingrid
  • Height: 165 cm
  • Weight: 59 kg
  • Favourite sports: motocross
  • Favourite film: Con Air (nineties American action movie)
  • Favourite band: "Anything Country & Western" (Capirossi shares a love of C&W with legendary US 500 rider King Kenny Roberts)
  • Favourite book: "I'm not a great reader!"
  • Favourite place to party: "The Great Barrier Reef" (Capirossi has loved Down Under ever since his first visit in 1990 - when he secured his first world title at Phillip Island)
  • Best day of his life: "My wedding day!"
  • GP victories: 23 (1xMotoGP, 2x500, 12x250, 8x125)
  • First GP victory: Britain, 1990 (125)
  • 500/MotoGP podiums: 24
  • First GP: Japan, 1990 (125)
  • Pole positions: 36 (3xMotoGP, 5x500, 23x250, 5x125)
  • First pole: Australia, 1991 (125)
  • World Championships: 3 (125: 1990, 1991, 250: 1998)
  • 2005 - Ducati Marlboro Team rider - MotoGP World Championship
  • 2004 - 9th MotoGP World Championship (Ducati Marlboro Team)
  • 2003 - 4th MotoGP World Championship (Ducati Marlboro Team)
  • 2002 - 8th MotoGP World Championship (Honda)
  • 2001 - 3rd 500 World Championship (Honda)
  • 2000 - 7th 500 World Championship (Honda)
  • 1999 - 3rd 250 World Championship (Honda)
  • 1998 - 250 World Champion (Aprilia)
  • 1997 - 6th 250 World Championship (Aprilia)
  • 1996 - 10th 500 World Championship (Marlboro Yamaha Team Rainey)
  • 1995 - 6th 500 World Championship (Marlboro Team Pileri Honda)
  • 1994 - 3rd 250 World Championship (Marlboro Team Pileri Honda)
  • 1993 - 2nd 250 World Championship (Marlboro Team Pileri Honda)
  • 1992 - 12th 250 World Championship (Marlboro Team Pileri Honda)
  • 1991 - 125 World Champion (Marlboro Team Pileri Honda)
  • 1990 - 125 World Champion (Marlboro Team Pileri Honda)
  • 1989 - 4th 125 European Championship (Honda)
  • 1988 - 9th 125 European Championship (Mancini)
  • 1987 - First roadrace, 6th 125 Italian Production Championship (Honda)
  • 1986 - First motocross events