Angel Nieto passed away today. The entire motorcycling community in the world lost an icon, the 13-times World Champion, he had been in a coma since the crash on July 26, after his quad bike accident, in Ibiza.
He preferred to refer his global titles as 12 + 1 due to superstition. He was 70 years old and the doctors kept him in an induced coma in the days after the accident, but his health condition quickly deteriorated on Thursday, ending in this tragic news.
He was born in Castile and Leon in 1947, and he won 90 Grands Prix, at the 50cc, 80cc and 125cc classes, between 1964 and 1986 and taking 139 podiums on his trajectory to his 12 + 1 world titles. The brands were five different manufacturers of motorcycle: Derbi, Bultaco, Garelli, Minarelli and Kreidler.
His name will always shine in the annals of two-wheeled history, where we can find names like Giacomo Agostini, Valentino Rossi, Mike Hailwood and Phil Read. The total of 90 wins put him third in the all-time rankings behind Italian’s pilots Giacomo Agostini and Valentino Rossi.
Unfortunately, Nieto’s death is the second to shock the international motorsports community this year, because we had the loss of the 2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden last May.