ANGEL Nieto, the winner of 12 + 1 grand prix world championships, died on Thursday afternoon after succumbing to injuries sustained in a quad bike accident in Ibiza.
The 70-year-old was in an induced coma in the days the followed the incident, but his condition quickly deteriorated on Thursday, resulting in his tragic death.
The Spanish legend won 90-grands prix in the former 50cc, 80cc and 125cc classes between 1964 and 1986, with his heroic victory in the 125cc world championship in front of a delirious home crowd at Jarama nearly single-handedly turning motorcycle racing into a mainstream sport in Spain. As a result, Nieto became a household name.
A colourful character throughout his time in the grand prix world championship, Nieto claimed six 50cc world championships and seven 125cc titles in a dazzling career that saw him post wins on five different makes of motorcycle: Derbi, Bultaco, Garelli, Minarelli and Kreidler.
When the leathers were hung up, Nieto also experienced life on the other side of the pit wall, and watched rider Emilio Alzamora claim the 125cc title in 1999 while team manager of the Via Digital Honda squad.
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