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You vote Rossi 'most deserving champion'
28 December 2005
viewers have overwhelming voted MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi as their most deserving champion of the 2005 motorsport season.
Rossi cinched his fifth consecutive premier-class title - and seventh ever world crown - in dominant style this year, winning 11 of the 17 races to end his second season with Yamaha a massive 147-points clear of nearest rival Marco Melandri.
Indeed, after his now infamous final turn clash with Sete Gibernau at the Jerez season opener, Rossi's 2005 title was never really in doubt - although growing pressure from rising stars Melandri and Nicky Hayden provided 'The Doctor' with an unexpected challenge towards the end of the season.
But while there is no doubt that Rossi deserved to retain his crown,
wanted to know how the Italian's achievement compared with the likes of Fernando Alonso's first Formula One World Championship, Sebastien Loeb's successful defence of his World Rally title and many others.
After the final votes had been counted the verdict was overwhelming, with Rossi winning 45% of the vote, Alonso 15% and Loeb 13%.
When Rossi beat the Honda riders to win on his Yamaha debut at the 2004 Africa's Grand Prix, he said it had turned MotoGP on its head, by proving that man was more important than machine.
It is perhaps the continuation of that sentiment - combined with Rossi rising to third on the all time grand prix race winners' list, at the age of just 26 - which earned him the 'most deserving' title this year. The charismatic Italian's global popularity won't have done him any harm either...
Arguably the biggest surprise of the poll was that Alonso only narrowly beat Loeb for second position, given that the Spaniard's 2005 triumph made him the youngest world champion in F1 history, Spain's first ever F1 world champion and ended the great Michael Schumacher's run of titles with Ferrari.
However, as motor racing's most technologically advanced discipline,
viewers could have felt that a significant part of Alonso's win was down to engineering excellence at Renault (and unreliability at McLaren) - which would also help explain why Loeb, competing in a championship renowned for testing driver skill, came so close to second place in the poll.
The other 2005 champions included for voting seemed to suffer from a lack of world wide TV exposure, with Sebastien Bourdais (Champ Car), Andy Priaulx (WTCC), Dan Wheldon (IRL), Gary Paffett (DTM) and Troy Corser (WSBK) each claiming 3-4% of the vote, while Lewis Hamilton (F3 Euroseries), Nico Rosberg (GP2) and Tony Rickardsson (Speedway GP) all took 1%.
Congratulations to all the 2005 champions!
poll for most deserving 2005 champion
1. Valentino Rossi (MotoGP) 45%
2. Fernando Alonso (F1) 15%
3. Sebastien Loeb (WRC) 13%
4. Other 6%
=5. Sebastien Bourdais (Champ Car) 4%
=5. Andy Priaulx (WTCC) 4%
=5. Dan Wheldon (IRL) 4%
=8. Gary Paffett (DTM) 3%
=8. Troy Corser (WSBK) 3%
=10.Lewis Hamilton (F3 Euroseries) 1%
=10. Nico Rosberg (GP2) 1%
=10. Tony Rickardsson (Speedway GP) 1%
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