Former Italian rider Fausto Gresini, director of the MotoGP Gresini Racing team, died this Tuesday at the age of 60 at the Maggiore hospital in Bologna as a result of a coronavirus infection that had him in bed for almost two months. “This is the news that we never wanted to give and that unfortunately we are forced to share with all of you. After almost two months fighting against the covid, Fausto Gresini has passed away a few days after turning 60 ″, indicated the team through a statement issued by social networks.
Born in Imola in 1961, Gresini, one of the most popular characters of the paddock of the Motorcycle World Championship, former racer, sports director and discoverer of young talents, had been hospitalized in Bologna since last December due to severe respiratory failure. He had entered a critical condition in recent days, as reported by the health center on February 18.
The two-time 125cc world champion had tested positive for covid-19 shortly before the Christmas holidays and, after spending an initial period of isolation at his home, he was admitted on December 27 to the Santa Maria della Scaletta hospital in Imola.
A few days later, he was transferred to the Maggiore Carlo Alberto Pizzardi specialized center in Bologna, where he was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit with very low levels of oxygen saturation in his blood. He was induced into a drug coma and received endotracheal intubation to aid oxygenation of the organs, as reported at the time.
He couldn’t get over it.
Gresini was one of those tiny riders who reigned supreme in the 125cc class at a time when small classes had their own status. A benchmark in 125cc in the eighties, when he achieved two world titles (in 1985 and 1987), he was then a tough rival for Luca Cadalora or for a very young Loris Capirossi when, already in the nineties, he was racing a Honda after racing with Aprilia.
In 1995, Fausto left the motorcycle but not the motorcycles. He continued in the paddock. Passionate, he made his debut at the head of Alex Barros’ team in the 500cc, with a Honda. It was the beginning of a long career as a sports director. Fausto knew how to shape the character of young talents. He did it shortly after with his former partner, Capirossi. He also worked with the ill-fated Daijiro Kato and Marco Simoncelli, whose fatal accidents he faced with the integrity of those who know the dangers of running at 300 km / h.
In 2015, he was delighted to accept the call from Aprilia, who chose him to guide the Italian factory’s project on its return to MotoGP while the Gresini team, founded in 1997, continued to triumph in the small categories of the World Championship, Moto3 and Moto2. With him, with whom Toni Elías had become the first Moto2 champion in 2010, Jorge Martín was also Moto3 world champion in 2018. The last title for Gresini’s structure was the MotoE World Championship that Matteo won. Ferrari in 2019.