What was denied as a rumor from his son Lorenzo late on Monday evening is now unfortunately a sad truth: the two-time 125 cc world champion Fausto Gresini passed away on Tuesday.
The Italian motorcycle racer contested a total of 118 races in the motorcycle world championship between 1983 and 1994 and won the world title in the 125 cc class in 1985 and 1987. In 1985 he relegated Pierpaolo Bianchi and Gustl Auinger to places 2 and 3 in the World Cup, two years later he prevailed against Bruno Casanova and Paolo Casoli. Afterwards Gresini became a successful team owner and an important part of the paddock and of the marketer Dorna, because he took part in all three GP classes with his pilots. Since 2019, Gresini Racing has even deployed a MotoE World Cup team.
Fausto Gresini achieved his first successes as a racing driver in 1978 at the age of 17 on a 50 cc Minarelli. In 1983 a factory Garelli was promoted to the 125 cc world championship. In the same year, on August 7th in Anderstorp, Sweden, the talented little Italian achieved his first podium in a World Championship race when he took second place behind Bruno Kneubühler and ahead of Gustl Auinger. A year later, Fausto achieved his first GP triumph at the same location in Sweden, ahead of Auinger, Lazzarini and Vitali.
Gresini remained as a racing driver in the 125cc class throughout his active career. He made a number of records. For example, with eleven consecutive World Cup victories across the seasons in 1986/87. He shares this record with the unforgettable Angel Nieto. In addition, he was the first driver to celebrate ten GP victories in eleven races within one season (1987).
Gresini first competed in the 125cc World Championship on an MBA and Garelli (1983 and 1984), then for four years only on a factory Garelli, before choosing an Aprilia in 1989 and spending the last five active years with the new Honda. As a reminder: in 1988 the 125 cc two-cylinder were banned and replaced by the single-cylinder. This should increase the variety of brands. Honda returned to the 125cc World Championship after exiting in 1966 with these new regulations.
After Gresini had only finished 16th in the 1994 World Championship on a Honda, he decided to retire after 132 Grands Prix and 47 podium places. In addition to the 21 victories, there are 15 second and eleven third places.
As early as 1997, the passionate motorcycle sports fan Gresini returned to the racetracks as a team owner with his own racing team. He discovered and promoted numerous talents and put Alex Barros in 1997 on a private V2 Honda in the 500 cc class.
The ninth place overall in the World Championship in the first year made HRC aware of this aspiring half-liter racing team.
Factory machines from Honda for the next season were the reward. In the years that followed, the private 500cc team continued to be successful. In 2001, Daijiro Kato won the world title in the 250 cc class. But Kato died in hospital on April 6, 2003, two weeks after a devastating fall in the MotoGP race at the Japanese GP in Suzuka.
Toni Elias contributed a second world title win in 2010 in the first year of the Moto2 World Championship. In addition, riders of the Gresini team took second place in the MotoGP class three times (Sete Gibernau 2003 and 2004, and Marco Melandri 2005). Gresini’s most recent world title win was in 2018 with Jorge Martin in the Moto3 World Championship on Honda.
Fausto Gresini was married to his wife Nadia and had four children, Luca, Lorenzo, Alice and Agnese.
Gresini’s successes as a racing driver
1983 – 125 cc World Championship 9. on MBA and Garelli
1984 – 125 cc World Championship 3. on MBA and Garelli
1985 – 125cc World Champion on Garelli
1986 – 125cc runner-up on a Garelli
1987 – 125cc World Champion on Garelli
1988 – 125 cc-WM-21. on Garelli
1989 – 125 cc-WM-5. on Garelli
1990 – Italian 125cc champion on a Honda
1990 – 125 cc World Championship 7. on Honda
1991 – 125cc runner-up on a Honda
1992 – 125cc runner-up on a Honda
1993 – 125 cc World Championship 11. on Honda
1994 – 125 cc World Championship 16. on Honda