'Deeply saddened': Motorsport rocked by legendary icon's COVID death

Andrew Reid
·4-min read
Former world champion and MotoGP team boss Fausto Gresini is pictured here.
Tributes for Fausto Gresini have been pouring in across the motorsport world. Pic: Getty/Twitter

The world of motorsport has been left devastated by the news that legendary figure Fausto Gresini has lost his battle with Covid-19.

The MotoGP team boss and former motorcycling world champion died on Tuesday in Bologna at the age of 60, two months after contracting the virus.

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Gresini won two world titles in the 125cc class in 12 seasons as a rider on the world championship circuit before making a successful move into team management.

The Italian was placed in a medically-induced coma at a Bologna hospital when he caught the virus in December but was taken out of it when his condition improved in January.

Sadly, it proved a false dawn for the popular motorsport figure, who then suffered a number of further respiratory complications, before again having to be placed in an induced coma in mid-February.

Gresini Racing released a heartbreaking statement on Tuesday to confirm the tragic news of his death.

"The news we would have never wanted to give, and that unfortunately we are forced to share with all of you," the statement read.

"After nearly two months battling against COVID, Fausto Gresini has sadly passed away, a few days after turning 60."

Gresini's death has rocked the motorsport world, with tributes flooding in on social media for a man regarded as a legend of his sport.

Tragedy followed Gresini in motorsport

As a rider, Gresini claimed world titles in 1985 and 1987, winning the first 10 races in the latter season to set a record that still stands.

He won two world titles as a team boss, the 250cc title in 2001 with Japanese rider Daijiro Kato and the Moto2 championship with Spain's Toni Elias in 2010.

Pictured here, Fausto Gresini watches on at a motorsport event.
Fausto Gresini died after a two-month battle with Covid-19. Pic: Getty

Both triumphs were followed by tragedies for the team, however, with Kato dying in 2003 after a crash at his home MotoGP Grand Prix and Italian rider Marco Simoncelli fatally injured after a fall in the Malaysian round of the 2011 championship.

"A much loved member of the MotoGP family has sadly left us," MotoGP said on Twitter. "Fausto Gresini was a colleague to many, a friend to all and will be sorely missed. Our thoughts go out to his family and loved ones. Rest in peace Fausto."

Repsol Honda paid tribute to Gresini on Twitter.

"Our thoughts are with those close to Fausto Gresini, a talented rider, an accomplished team owner and a great man," the team said.

with AAP

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