Perhaps one of MotoGP’s most well-known team owners and 125cc World Champion Fausto Gresini has died. He was 60 years old.
Gresini was born in Imola, Italy, a place where racing is part of the town’s life. It therefore only seems natural that Fausto would enter the world of racing. He made his World Championship debut in the 125cc class. In 1985 and 1987 Fausto rose to the top, taking the 125cc World Championships.
Starting in 1990, Gresini developed a relationship with Honda. He raced with the Japanese brand up until his retirement in 1994. Ultimately, during his career, he would take 21 wins, 47 podiums, and 17 poles.
Then in 1994, he returned to the paddock as a Honda satellite team owner in the premier class with racer Alex Barros. As the years progressed, so did Fausto’s team. Gresini team would expand and compete in both the then 500cc (now MotoGP) and 250cc classes.
And in 2001, the Gresini team would earn its first team World Championship with up and coming rider Daijiro Kato on the Honda NSR250. The team’s successes would continue from 2003 through 2005 with Sete Gibernau twice finishing as MotoGP championship runner-up and once with Marco Melandri.
Other iconic riders rode for Gresini. Names like Colin Edwards, Toni Elias, Alex De Angelis, Marco Simoncelli, Hiroshi Aoyama, and Alvaro Bautista. In recent years, Gresini Honda’s Moto 3 effort yielded several World Championship bids with Jorge Martin taking the title in 2018 aboard a Honda NSF250RW, while they also competed in the MotoGP class with Aprilia.
Around Christmas of 2020, Fausto was diagnosed with COVID and fought a more than two-month battle with the virus. Sadly, the virus has won. CIAO Fausto and thanks for all the wins and excitement.
At this time, it’s not clear whether the Gresini race team will continue.