Gianluca Facchetti has been the next big thing for a few years in Italy and rose to global attention after being filmed getting extra-animated on the start line of a 65cc race a number of years ago!
But multiple injuries sustained in a traffic collision threatened to stall or even end the Italian’s burgeoning motocross career at 15, just two years ago.
Facchetti got crushed between a wall and a reversing car at a petrol stating and suffered big injuries including a shattered pelvis.
But in 2017 the energetic Italian, who is good friends with his countryman and one of the greatest riders in motocross history, Antonio Cairoli, has come back to the forefront of the sport.
He won his home round of the EMX125 championship in Ottobiano in style despite the brutal heat and last Sunday, was crowned 125cc world champion.
Facchetti was overwhelmed with his achievement saying: I am so happy about this race, I don’t know what to say, but I am so happy! Thanks to everyone!”
The Italian looks similar to Ken Roczen and has the same marketing potential to go beyond the sport with his charisma and outgoing personality if he keeps competing at the sharp end once he graduates to MX2 and MXGP.
But for now Facchetti is the toast of Italy and has fans around the world behind him after overcoming horrible injuries to become the 125 world champion.
And with Antonio Cairoli in his corner, Facchetti’s journey to the top of the sport could well be just beginning!
Take a look at the famous video of the Facchetti on a 65 start line seven years ago:
And here he is winning the 2017 125cc Junior world championship!