An Italian rider, born on February 16th, 1979 in Urbino, Italy. Rossi was riding bikes from an early age; the credit goes to the encouragement of his father Graziano, who himself a former Grand Prix winner. Later the start in go-karts, Rossi progressed to mini-motos and quickly showed a talent for two-wheels, in 1992 becoming the regional champion.
The following few years saw him quickly rise through the ranks of junior road racing, claiming the Italian Sports Production Championship in 1994 and the Italian 125cc Championship in 1995. He secures 3rd place in the 125cc European Championship, that was enough to ensure him a ride in the World Championship the following year.