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Ángel Nieto

Ángel Nieto
Ángel Nieto 1972b.jpg
Ángel Nieto in 1972
NationalitySpanish
Born25 January 1947 (1947-01-25)
Zamora, Spain
Died3 August 2017(2017-08-03) (aged 70)
Ibiza, Spain
Motorcycle racing career statistics
Grand Prix motorcycle racing
Active years19641986
First race1964 50 cc Spanish Grand Prix
Last race1986 80 cc Baden-Württemberg Grand Prix
First win1969 50 cc German Grand Prix
Last win1985 80 cc French Grand Prix
Team(s)Derbi, Morbidelli, Kreidler, Bultaco, Minarelli, Garelli
Championships50 cc – 1969, 1970, 1972, 19751977125 cc- 1971, 1972, 1979, 19811984
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
186 90 139 16 63 1,782

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, mainly engaged in 50cc, 80cc and 125cc respectively. 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.

Motorcycle racing career

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. Due to his triskaidekaphobia, 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 death

Ángel Nieto had been living in Ibiza for many years. His two sons, Ángel Jr. and Pablo, both followed their father into motorcycle racing, as well as his nephew Fonsi Nieto.

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 screen

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.

Honours

Complete Grand Prix motorcycle racing results

Points system from 1964 to 1968:

Position 1 2 3 4 5 6
Points 8 6 4 3 2 1

Points system from 1969 onwards:

Position 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Points 15 12 10 8 6 5 4 3 2 1

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Class Bike 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Points Rank Wins
1964 50cc Derbi USA
-
ESP
5
FRA
-
IOM
-
NED
-
BEL
-
GER
-
FIN
-
JPN
-
2 10th 0
1965 50cc Derbi USA
-
GER
5
ESP
-
FRA
-
IOM
-
NED
-
BEL
-
JPN
-
2 12th 0
1966 50cc Derbi ESP
5
GER
-
NED
-
IOM
-
NAT
-
JPN
-
3 6th 0
1967 50cc Derbi ESP
6
GER
-
FRA
5
IOM
-
NED
2
BEL
4
JPN
-
12 4th 0
1968 50cc Derbi GER
-
ESP
2
IOM
Ret
NED
-
BEL
3
10 4th 0
1969 50cc Derbi ESP
2
GER
-
FRA
2
NED
-
BEL
-
DDR
1
CZE
3
ULS
1
NAT
-
YUG
2
76 1st 2
1970 50cc Derbi GER
1
FRA
1
YUG
1
NED
1
BEL
2
DDR
3
CZE
-
ULS
1
NAT
-
ESP
4
87 1st 5
125cc Derbi GER
-
FRA
-
YUG
2
IOM
-
NED
-
BEL
1
DDR
1
CZE
-
FIN
-
NAT
1
ESP
1
72 2nd 4
1971 50cc Derbi AUT
2
GER
3
NED
1
BEL
3
DDR
1
CZE
-
SWE
1
NAT
2
ESP
-
69 2nd 3
125cc Derbi AUT
1
GER
-
IOM
-
NED
1
BEL
-
DDR
1
CZE
1
SWE
-
FIN
-
NAT
2
ESP
1
87 1st 5
1972 50cc Derbi GER
2
NAT
2
YUG
2
NED
1
BEL
1
DDR
-
SWE
-
ESP
1
69 1st 3
125cc Derbi GER
DNS
FRA
-
AUT
1
NAT
1
IOM
-
YUG
-
NED
1
BEL
1
DDR
-
CZE
-
SWE
1
FIN
2
ESP
3
97 1st 5
1973 125cc Morbidelli FRA
-
AUT
3
GER
2
NAT
-
IOM
-
YUG
-
NED
-
BEL
2
CZE
-
SWE
-
FIN
-
ESP
2
46 7th 0
1974 125cc Derbi FRA
-
GER
-
AUT
2
NAT
1
NED
-
BEL
1
SWE
-
CZE
-
YUG
2
ESP
5
60 3rd 2
1975 50cc Kreidler ESP
1
GER
1
NAT
1
NED
1
BEL
2
SWE
2
FIN
1
YUG
1
75 1st 6
1976 50cc Bultaco FRA
Ret
NAT
1
YUG
-
NED
1
BEL
2
SWE
1
FIN
-
GER
1
ESP
1
85 1st 5
125cc Bultaco AUT
4
NAT
3
YUG
-
NED
3
BEL
1
SWE
2
FIN
-
GER
-
ESP
2
67 2nd 1
1977 50cc Bultaco GER
3
NAT
3
ESP
1
YUG
1
NED
1
BEL
3
SWE
2
87 1st 3
125cc Bultaco VEN
1
AUT
-
GER
6
NAT
5
ESP
-
FRA
-
YUG
2
NED
1
BEL
2
SWE
1
FIN
-
GBR
-
80 3rd 3
1978 50cc Bultaco ESP
-
NAT
-
NED
-
BEL
-
GER
2
CZE
-
YUG
-
12 11th 0
125cc Bultaco VEN
-
ESP
-
AUT
-
FRA
-
NAT
7
NED
-
88 2nd 4
Minarelli BEL
2
SWE
2
FIN
1
GBR
1
GER
1
YUG
1
1979 125cc Minarelli VEN
1
AUT
1
GER
1
NAT
1
ESP
1
YUG
1
NED
1
BEL
-
SWE
-
FIN
-
GBR
1
CZE
-
FRA
-
120 1st 8
1980 125cc Minarelli NAT
5
ESP
-
FRA
1
YUG
-
NED
1
BEL
1
FIN
1
GBR
-
CZE
-
GER
2
78 3rd 4
1981 125cc Minarelli ARG
1
AUT
1
GER
1
NAT
4
FRA
1
ESP
1
YUG
-
NED
1
SM
2
GBR
1
FIN
1
SWE
-
CZE
-
140 1st 8
250cc Siroco-Rotax ARG
-
GER
5
NAT
-
FRA
-
ESP
-
NED
-
BEL
-
RSM
-
GBR
-
FIN
-
SWE
-
CZE
-
6 23rd 0
1982 125cc Garelli ARG
1
AUT
1
FRA
-
ESP
1
NAT
1
NED
1
BEL
5
YUG
3
GBR
1
SWE
6
FIN
-
CZE
-
111 1st 6
1983 125cc Garelli FRA
NC
NAT
1
GER
1
ESP
1
AUT
1
YUG
11
NED
1
BEL
2
GBR
1
SWE
-
RSM
DNF
102 1st 6
250cc Yamaha RSA
-
FRA
-
NAT
-
GER
-
ESP
NC
AUT
NC
YUG
NC
NED
-
BEL
-
GBR
-
SWE
-
0 0
1984 125cc Garelli NAT
1
ESP
1
GER
1
FRA
1
NED
1
GBR
1
SWE
-
RSM
DNF
90 1st 6
250cc Garelli RSA
-
NAT
NC
ESP
-
AUT
-
GER
-
FRA
-
YUG
-
NED
-
BEL
-
GBR
-
SWE
-
RSM
-
0 0
1985 80cc Derbi ESP
-
GER
-
NAT
-
YUG
-
NED
NC
FRA
1
RSM
NC
15 9th 1
1986 80cc Derbi ESP
2
NAT
NC
GER
4
AUT
8
YUG
4
NED
4
GBR
NC
SWE
-
RSM
5
BWU
NC
45 7th 0
125cc Ducados ESP
-
NAT
2
GER
-
AUT
-
NED
10
BEL
-
FRA
9
GBR
-
SWE
-
RSM
-
BWU
-
15 13th 0

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