However, Honda's Alex Criville did not disappoint, and after six victories, earned yet another Championship for the Honda team. For the 2000, season, their finely tweaked NSR500s were entrusted to six riders of three teams. Among those teams is Honda Nastro Azzurro, which relies on the skillful riding of Valentino Rossi. Rossi switched over from 250cc racing after taking the 1999 title. Thrilling fans with his "superman" riding techniques, this 1979 born superstar is known for stretching out horizontally on his bike and "flying" like the man of steel himself. Rossi is the son of 1970's GP rider, Graziano Rossi, and made his 125cc class debut in 1996. In 1998, he moved on to the 250cc class and brilliantly earned that year's championship. The riding skill of Rossi gores without saying. He controls his motorcycle as if it is an extenuation of his own body, often seemingly disobeying the known laws of physics. This spectacular rider is sponsored by Italian beer company, Peroni, brewer of Italy's most popular beer, Nastro Azzurro. Rossi's first year in the 500cc class earned him two 3rd place finished, and 2nd place finish, and a victory at the English GP.