Valentino and Giacomo Agostini pictured together in 2005 - without doubt the two greatest of all-time
September 15, 2008 Italian Valentino Rossi wrote himself into the history books yesterday when he took his 69th victory in the premier class of motorcycle racing and almost certainly won himself an eighth world title. His victory took him past the 68 MotoGP wins of countryman Giacomo Agostini (pictured with Rossi) and gives him a credible hold on the title of the greatest motorcycle road racer in history. Though he is already credited with being the youngest rider to have won championships in all three classes (MotoGP, 250 and 125), Rossi has effectively won in four, soon five classes as he conquered both the brutal 500cc two strokes and the smoother, more controllable four-stroke 1000cc machines which replaced them in 2002. He is now within a few points of also having won a championship on the new 800cc machines which suit the high cornering speeds of 250cc riders, as witnessed by the number of riders (Pedrosa, Stoner, Dovizioso, Elias, De Angelis etc) who became immediately competitive in the switch to the premier class – very few riders were able to make the switch to 500cc two-strokes and become immediately competitive. Rossi is also an accomplished Rally driver and briefly contemplated a career with Ferrari in F1. Congratulations to the Doctor and his mentor Jeremy Burgess.