A colleague asked me this weekend what it must be like be a walking a economy, to answer that question all we have to do is ask the man himself, Valentino Rossi. The nine-time World Champion is the 7th highest paid athlete in the world according to Sports Illustrated, and makes significantly more money than some other notable riders in MotoGP.
While earning nearly triple the salary of Fiat-Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo, Rossi also makes $15 million more in take home income (salary + endorsements) than tennis star Maria Sharapova, for example. Perhaps even more astounding is the fact that this is an off-year for Rossi, who was 5th on the SI list last year, but that’s what happens when you’re apart of an industry that nearly collapsed during the recession. Check after the jump for more MotoGP salaries.
The following are salary estimates compiled by GPone:
- Valentino Rossi: $15.5 – $19.5 million
- Jorge Lorenzo: $5.2 – $9 million
- Casey Stoner: $6.5 – $9 million
- Dani Pedrosa: $3.9 – $5.2 million
- Andrea Dovizioso: $1.9 – $2.6 million
- Marco Simoncelli: $1.9 – $2.6 million
- Loris Capirossi: $1.9 million
- Ben Spies: $1.3 – $2.6 million
- Alvaro Bautista: $1.3 million
- Randy De Puniet: $650,000
- Marco Melandri: $650,000
- Mika Kallio: $450,000
- Colin Edwards: $325,000
- Aleix Espargaro: $325,000
Helping riders supplement these earnings are of course endorsements, which can either be technical or personal. For example Valentino Rossi has a $3.2 personal endorsement with Monster Energy, with other riders making similar, albeit smaller, endorsements from technical sponsorships, e.g. their racing apparel.
A helmet endorsement deal can be worth $250,000 to $750,000, while racing leathers are worth closer to $300,000 to $650,000. Similarly, boots are worth around $125,000 to $250,000. Not too shabby for just riding a motorcycle at near ludicrous speed.