The Doctor will be back in business next summer, but not aboard a motorcycle. Valentino Rossi, the most successful MotoGP racer of our generation, is headed to the 2022 GT World Championship, where he will drive for Team WRT.
This comes as no surprise—for years, Rossi has played around the edges of car racing, and there were strong hints that he would move to four wheels after his MotoGP career ended (which it did, in 2021). He’s raced events like the Gulf 12 Hours and one-off GT World Championship events (in the Pro-Am category) in the past, and last month, he tested with Team WRT in Valencia.
It seems that his results were good enough to get Rossi a job on the team, and he’s slated to drive an Audi R8 LMS next summer. He’ll compete in the Endurance and Sprint series.
“I am delighted to join Team WRT,” Rossi said after the signing. “Everybody knows that I have always been a great car racing fan and that I have always been interested in a racing on four wheels once my MotoGP career would come to an end. Now I am completely available to devote myself to a car racing programme at high level and with the right professional approach. Team WRT is the perfect fit I was looking for and I am anxious to start this new adventure in the GTWCE with them.”
What should we expect from Rossi next season? Energy, fun, and more fun—#46 is always up for smiles and laughs. And, we can probably expect hordes of his yellow-clad fans to suddenly add GT races to their program of must-attend motorsports events next season. Seriously, this is probably very good news for the car series—having one of the most famous faces in motorsport sign on will only boost the series’ profile.