MotoGP: Fausto Gresini has died
Fausto Gresini has died at the age of 60 following a two-month battle with Covid-19.
The MotoGP team owner was diagnosed with Covid-19 in December and has been in the intensive care unit of the Maggiore Carlo Alberto Pizzardi hospital in Bologna since December 30.
Gresini was placed in a coma whilst his breathing was assisted, and whilst there was hope in January that his condition had improved, doctors were forced to put Gresini back into a coma as he battled pneumonia caused by the virus. The team confirmed the news this morning that the 60-year-old had lost his fight with Covid-19.
"The news we would have never wanted to give, and that unfortunately we are forced to share with all of you," this morning's statement reads. "After nearly two months battling against Covid, Fausto Gresini has sadly passed away, few days after turning 60.
"All of Gresini Racing are close to Fausto’s family in support: his wife Nadia and the four children Lorenzo, Luca, Alice and Agnese... as well as everyone who had the chance to get to know him and love him throughout the years."
As well as being a successful team owner, Gresini was also a very fast and successful racer. Gresini entered the 125cc world championship in 1983, securing his maiden victory at the Swedish Grand Prix the following year.
Gresini won the 1985 125cc title with three victories and finished runner-up in 1986. Gresini dominated the 1987 championship to win his second title, winning 10 consecutive races to clinch top spot overall by 62 points.
Gresini competed until 1994 and secured 21 wins overall, becoming one of the most successful riders of his era in the 125cc class.
After retiring from racing Gresini became a team owner in 1997 and entered the 500cc class with Alex Barros on a Honda NSR500V. The team's first podium came at Donington Park that season when Barros finished third. Barros clinched two more podiums in 1998, however the team would drop to the 250cc class in 1999 with Loris Capirossi.
Capirossi proceeded to clinch Gresini's team's first victory in the opening race of the season at Sepang.Daijiro Kato won the title with Gresini in 2001 and the team would move back up to the premier class with the Japanese star in 2002. Kato scored two podiums that season but was sadly killed in 2003 in a crash during the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.
In the years that followed Sete Gibernau would become a multiple-time winner with Gresini and finished runner-up to Valentino Rossi in 2003 and 2004. Marco Melandri continued this trend with two victories and the runner-up spot in 2005.
Gresini Racing's final MotoGP victory came at Estoril in 2006, when Toni Elias pipped Valentino Rossi by 0.002s in the season finale. Elias would go on to win the first-ever Moto2 title with the team in 2010. Jorge Martin won the Moto3 crown with the team in 2018, whilst Matteo Ferrari won the first-ever MotoE championship in 2019.
Gresini parted ways with Honda for 2015, becoming Aprilia's official factory entrant. It was revealed in early December that plans were in place for Gresini Racing to become a separate team in MotoGP once again.
Our thoughts are with Fausto's family and friends at this difficult time.