Valentino Rossi is one of only a handful of champions in the modern era whose popularity has transcended their sport. As the Italian maestro closes in on an eighth world title, CNN charts the rise of the charismatic king of two wheels.
Born in Urbano, Italy in 1979, Valentino Rossi's achievements in the sport are nothing short of extraordinary. Eight world titles, 102 wins and over 150 podium finishes have already made him the most successful rider of all time.
Rossi began racing karts as a ten-year-old, before moving to two wheels in 1992. Four years later in his first Grand Prix season he won -- aged seventeen -- at the Brno circuit in the Czech Republic in the 125cc World Championship. Read full article »