Valentino Rossi

After winning two consecutive World Championships with Yamaha in 2004 and 2005, following on from three previous back-to-back title successes, Rossi finished runner-up to the American despite scoring ten podiums and winning five races - more than any other rider. Now the record-breaking Italian, widely regarded as the finest motorcycle racer of his generation, starts the season without the crown to defend for the first time in five years. [+]