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"Perfect job" from Rossi secured first GTWCE podium - Martin

Valentino Rossi “did the perfect job” on the way to his first GT World Challenge Europe podium at Brands Hatch on Sunday, according to WRT BMW team-mate Maxime Martin.

#46 Team WRT, BMW M4 GT3: Valentino Rossi, Maxime Martin

#46 Team WRT, BMW M4 GT3: Valentino Rossi, Maxime Martin

BMW Motorsport

Martin hailed the seven-time MotoGP champion’s performance after he took the chequered flag aboard their BMW M4 GT3 in the runner-up spot in the second of the two one-hour races on the opening weekend of the GTWCE Sprint Cup.

“The whole stint he was competitive and he didn’t do any mistakes,” said the Belgian of Rossi.

“He did the perfect job. It was really intense; we were like, [saying], keep it calm, bring it back.”

WRT team boss Vincent Vosse insisted that he wasn't surprised with what Rossi achieved on Sunday.

“I wouldn’t say that I was impressed, because I knew he could do it,” Vosse told Autosport.

“Valle did a great job, but he’d already proved to us what he was capable of.”

Rossi had to sustain pressure from fellow WRT driver Charles Weerts for much of the final phase of race two at Brands.

WRT got the car in which Martin had run third to the pitstops up to second behind the Attempto-run Tresor Orange 1 Audi R8 LMS GT3 driven by Mattia Druidi at the turnaround when Rossi took over.

He was unable to keep pace with Drudi who went on to win the race together with Ricardo Feller, but was initially able to edge away from Weerts as the Belgian came under pressure from Benjamin Goethe’s McLaren 720S GT3 EVO.

#46 Team WRT, BMW M4 GT3: Valentino Rossi, Maxime Martin

#46 Team WRT, BMW M4 GT3: Valentino Rossi, Maxime Martin

Photo by: BMW Motorsport

Weerts then put some distance on Goethe, who shared the Garage 59 entry with Nicolai Kjaergaard, and came back at Rossi in the final laps, finishing just nine tenths in arrears.

Martin suggested that he and Rossi and their partner in the GTWCE Endurance Cup rounds, Augusto Farfus, can go on to achieve more podiums this year.

“On the pace we have now and our pitstops — because the team is really good in the pits - I think we can have some good results,” he said.

Asked if he believes victories are possible, Martin replied: “When you see here we weren’t that far from being able to win, I think everything is possible.”

Rossi said: “I am so happy about this second position and first podium!

“We got close some times last year and at Monza [in the 2023 Endurance Cup season-opener earlier in April], and finally, it came.

“We all did a good job, the team, myself and Maxime, who put a mega lap time in qualifying.

“The pitstops were perfect, and the result is this podium.”

The pair had earlier finished 14th in race one.

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