Ángel Nieto Roldán (25 January 1947 – 3 August 2017) was a Spanish professional Grand Prix motorcycle racer. He was one of the most accomplished motorcycle racers in the history of the sport, winning 13 World Championships and 90 Grand Prix victories in a racing career that spanned twenty-three years from 1964 to 1986. His total of 90 Grand Prix victories ranks him third only to the 122 by Giacomo Agostini, and the 115 for Valentino Rossi. In 2011, Nieto was named an FIM Legend for his motorcycling achievements.
Ángel Nieto in 1972
|Born||25 January 1947|
|Died||3 August 2017 (aged 70)|
Motorcycle racing careerEdit
Nieto specialized in racing small displacement bikes such as in the 50 cc, 80 cc and 125 cc classes but many fellow racers, including former world champion Barry Sheene consider him among the greatest motorcycle racers of all time. Though he was never successful at the world level racing in the larger displacements, he won Spanish National Championships in the 50 cc, 125 cc, 250 cc, 500 cc and 750 cc classes. He retired in 1986 at the age of 39 with a total of 90 Grand Prix victories and 13 World Championships. Known to be superstitious, he preferred to refer to his championship tally as "12+1".
Later he operated a Grand Prix motorcycle racing team with two riders – his son, Ángel Nieto Jr. and Emilio Alzamora, who won the 125 cc title. He commentated on Grand Prix races for Spanish television. There is an Ángel Nieto museum in Madrid that displays some of his trophies and racing memorabilia. The FIM named him a Grand Prix "Legend" in 2000. Nieto attended the 2008 French Grand Prix at the Le Mans Bugatti Circuit on 18 May 2008, dressed to ride with a special shirt congratulating Valentino Rossi for equalling Nieto's 90 wins. Nieto mounted Rossi's bike, and Rossi as a passenger held a flag aloft with "90 + 90", as they took a victory lap.
Personal life and deathEdit
On 26 July 2017, Nieto was hit by a car while driving his quad bike in Ibiza. He was taken to a hospital with a head trauma where he was put into a medically-induced coma and underwent surgery; his condition had been called "serious but not critical". On 3 August, his condition significantly worsened after being woken from his coma. He died the same day, aged 70.
Nieto on the big screenEdit
A documentary called Ángel Nieto: 12+1, directed by Álvaro Fernández Armero, was released in 2005. The film covers his entire career and a wide array of competitors, cyclists inspired by him and reporters who covered his career contribute their opinions and impressions regarding his fight to achieve and sustain his goal of world champion. The 1973 year, when Nieto raced with the 125 Morbidelli, is also recalled in the documentary Morbidelli – a story of men and fast motorcycles, released in 2014 and directed by Jeffrey Zani and Matthew Gonzales.
Points system from 1964 to 1968:
Points system from 1969 onwards:
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)
- 50 Years Of Moto Grand Prix (1st edition). Hazelton Publishing Ltd, 1999. ISBN 1-874557-83-7
- Ángel Nieto career statistics at MotoGP.com
- "FIM Legends" (PDF). fim-live.com. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
- Gadd, Mick (3 August 2017). "Angel Nieto dead: Motorsport family in mourning over 13-time world champion". mirror. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
- MotoGP Legends at MotoGP.com
- Rossi wins French MotoGP, AFP, 19 May 2008
- "Moto, incidente sul quad a Ibiza: condizioni gravi ma non critiche per l'ex campione Nieto". La Repubblica (in Italian). Retrieved 2017-07-27.
- "Ángel Nieto Jr". motogp.com. Retrieved 2017-08-05.
- "Pablo Nieto". motogp.com. Retrieved 2017-08-05.
- "Fonsi Nieto". motogp.com. Retrieved 2017-08-05.
- Shea, Julian (August 3, 2017). "Former World Champion Angel Nieto Dies, Aged 70". New York Times. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
- "Motorcycling legend Nieto in serious condition after crash". Motorsport.com. Retrieved 2017-07-27.
- "Angel Nieto: 12+1". 20 minutos. Retrieved 2017-08-04.
- "Film Review: Morbidelli – A Story Of Men and Fast Motorcycles". motorcycle.com. Retrieved 2017-08-04.
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