Two-time 125cc Grand Prix World Champion and MotoGP World Championship racing team owner Fausto Gresini has died due to complications from COVID-19.
Gresini, the 1985 and 1987 125cc World Champion, was admitted to a hospital in Italy on December 27, 2020 with symptoms of COVID-19.
Gresini’s condition was critical from the start, he required the assistance of a ventilator to breathe, and he was placed into a medically induced coma at times during his treatment.
His condition improved slightly at some points, but he took a turn for the worse last week and passed away Tuesday. He was 60.
More, from a press release issued by Gresini Racing:
The news we would have never wanted to give, and that unfortunately we are forced to share with all of you. 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.
More, from a press release issued by Dorna:
Remembering Fausto Gresini
Tuesday, 23 February 2021
MotoGP™ and Dorna Sports are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Fausto Gresini. A two-time World Champion in the 125cc class and a key figure in the paddock as founder of the Gresini Team thereafter, the legendary Italian will be deeply missed.
Gresini began competing in the 125cc World Championship in 1983 and took his debut win the following season. The year after that he took more wins and podiums on his way to taking the crown for the first time as he won the 1985 125cc World Championship. Runner up in 1986, the Italian fought back to take 10 wins on his way to reclaiming the crown in 1987, cementing his place in Grand Prix history.
Gresini competed until 1994 and accrued 21 wins overall, becoming one of the most successful riders of his era in the 125cc class. After hanging up his leathers, he then found equal and impressive success as he began a career on the other side of the pit wall.
His journey as Team Manager began in 1997, and the Gresini team took a World Championship for the first time in 2001 with Japanese rider Daijiro Kato as the two dominated the 250cc class together. Further Championships came in 2010 in Moto2™ with Toni Elias and 2018 in Moto3™ with Jorge Martin, as well as 2019 as the team won the inaugural FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup with Matteo Ferrari. The teams that bear his name compete across all three classes of the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship in 2021, from MotoGP™ to Moto3™, as well as MotoE™, and will race on in his honour.
Gresini’s memory will live on both in his achievements on track and his legacy as team founder and manager. MotoGP™ and Dorna Sports extend their deepest condolences to all those the legendary Italian leaves behind; his family, friends, colleagues, teams and more, at this most difficult time.
Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports: “I’m deeply saddened by the loss of Fausto. He was a very good friend and I liked him a lot. I have been following the news on his condition closely and I was lucky enough to be able to speak to him even as he was in hospital. I am so very sorry to suffer a loss like this in the paddock and I want to send my deepest condolences to his family, friends and the members of his team.”
More, from a press release issued by Honda Racing Corporation (HRC):
HRC are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Fausto Gresini at 60 years old, a man who achieved great heights as a rider and as a team owner.
Hailing from Imola, Italy, Fausto Gresini made his World Championship debut in 1983 in the 125cc class, where he would race his entire career as a lightweight specialist. Taking the World Championship in 1985 and 1987, Gresini would join Honda in 1990 until his retirement from racing in 1994. During this time, he claimed three wins and twice finished as World Championship runner-up.
Just a few years later Fausto Gresini would return to the paddock as a satellite Honda team owner in the premier class with Alex Barros. His team would expand in the coming years to compete in both the 500cc and 250cc classes, achieving a first World Championship as a team owner in 2001 with Daijiro Kato on the Honda NSR250. Successes would continue, from 2003 to 2005 a Gresini Honda rider finished as the MotoGP World Championship runner up, twice with Sete Gibernau and then with Marco Melandri.
As a satellite Honda team, Fausto worked with a number of iconic riders including Colin Edwards, Toni Elias, Alex De Angelis, Marco Simoncelli, Hiroshi Aoyama and Alvaro Bautista.
In recent years, Gresini’s Moto3 effort has been able to challenge consistently for the World Championship and in 2018 Jorge Martin took the Honda NSF250RW to the top of the standings.
HRC would like to thank Fausto for his years of collaboration as a rider, a team owner, a partner and as a competitor.
More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki Press Office:
Today, February 23rd 2021, is a very sad day for the MotoGP family, as it has been announced that Fausto Gresini has lost his battle with Covid-19. The whole Suzuki family is saddened by this news and wants to express their condolences first and foremost to the Gresini family, but also to the wider motorcycle racing community which we know to be close, passionate, and warm.
Shinichi Sahara – Team Suzuki Ecstar Project Leader:
“Fausto Gresini was a great rider and a wise and successful Team Manager. Not only is he one of a select group of riders who features in the World Champions list, but after his own career he created strong teams in the MotoGP series that have competed at the highest level; he also became a true promoter of young talents. 2020 has been a tough year for everyone with the situation and we’re extremely sorry that Fausto has fallen victim to this terrible virus.
“As a racing team we live a fast-paced life full of passion, and this was also how Fausto lived his dream as a rider first and with an eponymous team later. He always had a precise and effective team led with his positive attitude and commitment. We have lost a competitor, a colleague, and a friend.
“Our thoughts now turn to his wife Nadia and his children Lorenzo, Luca, Alice and Agnese, as well as with the whole Gresini Racing Team and Aprilia Racing family, together with all the people – and there are many – who have had the privilege to work alongside him and know him personally.”