America’s biggest motorcycle racer is also a Minnesotan

As far as Italy goes in motorcycling, it’s become a tough place to reach the pinnacle of the sport. MotoGP marks the end of a long championship championship run for Valentino Rossi, and Minnesotan…

America’s biggest motorcycle racer is also a Minnesotan

As far as Italy goes in motorcycling, it’s become a tough place to reach the pinnacle of the sport. MotoGP marks the end of a long championship championship run for Valentino Rossi, and Minnesotan Dean Wilson might be the new top Italian on the sport’s circuit. Wilson — a no-nonsense, brawny tyro whose nickname is Scorchio — has won a series of prestigious championships and finished second at the MotoGP Silverstone GP. Most crucially, he’s the first man from Italy to do so since the late Davide Balladoni in 1980.

Wilson’s win at Le Mans would seem to confirm him as the best rising Italian racer. But in truth, he’s already achieved that. In June, when he won the Italian MotoGP, the Marlboro Championship, he became the first Italian to do so since Balladoni in 1980.

In reality, however, the rise of the Italian duo has been in stark contrast to the fate of their legendary compatriot, Valentino Rossi. In the just past decade, he’s been embroiled in controversy, long and bitter lawsuits with Honda, and a return to an irresponsible usage of alcohol. At the same time, his rivals have thrived, led by Rossi’s erstwhile team-mate Rossi — who moved from Yamaha to Ducati in 2016 — then Marc Marquez, who succeeded him at Yamaha in 2016, and now Ducati’s Marquez, who captured last year’s title.

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