Grand Prix racing legend Ángel Nieto has died at the age of 70, succumbing to injuries after being hit by a car while riding an ATV.
Nieto was reportedly struck while traveling at low speeds around a roundabout in Spain on July 26. Nieto was thrown off his quad and hit his head on the ground. After being taken to a hospital in Ibiza, Nieto was placed into an induced coma. Doctors were hopeful of waking the 12+1-time (Nieto was superstitious with the number 13) world champion but his condition worsened on Aug. 3.
Born Jan. 25, 1947 in Zamora, Spain, Nieto is the winningest Spanish Grand Prix racer of all time, with his 90 wins trailing only Giacomo Agostini (122 wins) and Valentino Rossi (115 wins). Nieto’s success came in the small-displacement classes, with six titles in the 50cc class (1969, 1970, 1972, 1975, 1976 and 1977) and sevn in the 125cc class (1971, 1972, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1984). In 186 career races, Nieto has 90 wins, 139 podiums and qualified on the pole 16 times.
Nieto won his first five titles riding a Derbi, one on a Kreidler, two on a Bultaco, two on a Minarelli and three on a Garelli. After retiring from racing, Nieto ran his own racing team with son Ángel Nieto Jr. and Emilio Alzamora, with the latter winning a 125ccc World Championship in 1999.
12+1 World Championships. A true #MotoGP Legend.
Thanks for the memories, Ángel Nieto. pic.twitter.com/xdoKetD6Sc
— MotoGP™🇨🇿🏁 (@MotoGP) August 4, 2017
From watching El Clásico together to parties in Ibiza, Rossi & Marquez share their fondest memories of the “12+1 World Champion” Ángel Nieto pic.twitter.com/qsdb45sETK
— MotoGP™🇨🇿🏁 (@MotoGP) August 3, 2017
Oggi è una giornata molto triste per il nostro sport,perché Angel Nieto è uno dei piloti più importanti della storia del motociclismo.non solo per i 13(12+1)mondiali vinti,ma anche per il suo carattere,la sua passione e la sua energia fuori dalla pista.aveva 70 anni,ma il cuore di un ragazzino.ciao Angel,grazie di tutto 🙏🏼.
A post shared by valeyellow46 (@valeyellow46) on
— Marc Márquez (@marcmarquez93) August 3, 2017
Ángel Nieto, con tus alas volaste en moto en la tierra y ahora seguirás volando y enseñándonos el camino desde el cielo. 12+1 eterno! DEP pic.twitter.com/bt19uxkT9y
— Dani Pedrosa (@26_DaniPedrosa) August 3, 2017
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— Repsol Honda Team (@HRC_MotoGP) August 3, 2017
We deeply regret the passing of our ambassador Ángel Nieto. From Motors, we want to send our condolences to the Nieto family. pic.twitter.com/RV2bo6w0DG
— BultacoInternational (@Bultaco_INT) August 4, 2017