After being hospitalized on December 30 with coronavirus breathing difficulties, Fausto Gresini – two-time 125cc world champion and team leader Gresini – did not resist and died on Tuesday at the Maggiore Hospital in Bologna, Italy.
Fausto was put into an induced coma at first, and even improved to the point that he was awake, able to participate in video calls with his family and receive visits from his wife, despite continuing to use a respirator. However, his state of health became more complicated.
A recent update described his condition as “critical”. Last Monday, reports from Italian media outlets emerged reporting the death of the former pilot. The information was denied by his family and his team.
“The news that we never wanted to give and that unfortunately we are forced to share with all of you,” the team began in a statement.
“After almost two months of fighting Covid, Fausto Gresini sadly passed away, just days after his 60th birthday.”
“Everyone at Gresini Racing is close to Fausto’s family supporting his wife Nadia and their four children Lorenzo, Luca, Alice and Agnese, as well as everyone who has had the chance to meet and love him over the years.”
Champion in 1985 and 1987 (winning ten of the 11 races on this occasion) in the 125cc class, Gresini ran from 1983 until 1994. As team leader, Gresini started in 1997. He was world champion three times: with Daijiro Kato in 2001 in the 250cc class, with Toni Elias in 2010 in Moto2 and with Jorge Martin in 2018 in Moto3.
In MotoGP, the team had as its first rider the Brazilian Alexandre Barros, in 1997 and 1998. In addition, he was runner-up between 2003 and 2005 with Sete Gibernau (2003 and 2004) and Marco Melandri (2005), being the main opponent of Valentino Rossi in his early career.
In the main class, the team won eight times with Gibernau, five with Melandri and once with Elias.
However, his time in MotoGP was not without sad stories. In 2003, the team lost Daijiro Kato in a tragic accident at the Japanese GP in Suzuka. In 2011, the team lost another driver – Marco Simoncelli – in a serious accident at the Malaysian GP.
Gresini became Aprilia in MotoGP in 2015, and will return to being a 100% satellite team in 2022, when the contract with the Noale automaker ends.