Double 125cc world champion and veteran MotoGP team boss Fausto Gresini has died at the age of 60 in hospital in Italy after a two-month battle with Covid-19.
The Italian was taken ill with the virus just before Christmas and was hospitalised on 27 December in Imola. Gresini is survived by his wife Nadia and their four children Lorenzo, Luca, Alice and Agnese.
Gresini began competing in the 125cc World Championship in 1983 and took his debut win the following season. He went on to win 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. Gresini competed until 1994 and accrued 21 Grand Prix wins, becoming one of the most successful riders of his era in the 125cc class.
After hanging up his leathers, he 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, and MotoE
Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports said: “I am 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.”