Born2 January 1962 (1962-01-02) Died28 May 1989(1989-05-28) (aged 27)
Iván Palazzese (2 January 1962 – 28 May 1989) was an Italian born Venezuelan professional motorcycle racer. He competed in the Grand Prix road racing world championships from 1977 to 1989. In 1977, he became the youngest person at the time to stand on a Grand Prix podium, when he finished third behind Angel Nieto and Anton Mang at the 125cc Venezuelan Grand Prix at the age of 15.
Palazzese had his best year in 1982 when he won two 125cc Grands Prix and finished the season in third place, behind Angel Nieto and Eugenio Lazzarini. He was killed in a racing accident at the 1989 German Grand Prix at the Hockenheimring. Palazzese was closely following Andreas Preining when the latter's motorcycle engine seized and abruptly slowed, causing Palazzese to collide with Preining and subsequently crashed. While Palazzese was picking himself up off the ground, he was struck by riders Bruno Bonhuil and Fabio Barchitta who both crashed. It was fellow rider Virginio Ferrari who stopped his bike and first came to Palazzese's aid, but Palazzese was already dead having sustained massive chest injuries. He was 27 years old.
There is a monument erected in his honor in the Italian city of Alba Adriatica, where Palazzese was born.(Photo of the monument).