Rossi expects to continue in GT World Challenge Europe in 2023

Bike legend Valentino Rossi expects to continue in the GT World Challenge Europe next year for a second full season of car racing after ending his two-wheel career.

#46 Team WRT Audi R8 LMS evo II GT3: Valentino Rossi

The seven-time MotoGP world champion has explained that he is already working on remaining in a series he joined this year with the WRT Audi squad for an assault on both its Endurance and Sprint Cup legs.

“I think also next year I will race in this championship,” said Rossi, who called time on his bike racing career on the completion of the 2021 MotoGP season.

“This is the programme now, 90% it is like this — for sure I will race in this championship.”

Rossi, 43, did not elaborate on whether he is aiming to stay with WRT, which on Tuesday announced that it will be ending its partnership with Audi after 13 seasons at the end of this year.

The Belgian team was subsequently announced as BMW’s partner for its LMDh campaign in the World Endurance Championship in 2024 and seems certain to switch to the German manufacturer for its GT programmes in '23.

WRT boss Vincent Vosse suggested there is a desire at the team to continue the relationship with Rossi into a second season.

“We have nothing fixed, but I think it works well between us. I don’t see why we should change anything,” he said.


Photo by: Audi Communications Motorsport

Rossi re-iterated a desire to one day compete at the Le Mans 24 Hours, but explained that it is unlikely to happen in 2023.

“Right now I don’t think I will race at Le Mans next year, but it is not sure,” he said.

“I think it would be very interesting to drive this race one time: why not in the future?”

Rossi expressed satisfaction with his season so far aboard one of WRT’s Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo IIs, but conceded that he still is going through a learning process in his first full campaign on four wheels.

“I’m quite happy - it is more or less what I expected because the level is very high and you have a lot of fast drivers,” he said.

“About the speed in the car, I am not so bad. For sure, I need to improve, and with more kilometres through the season I need to understand how to drive the car in a better way.”

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He added that he is also still learning about the intricacies of car racing and the GTWCE.

“I need to work hard, because a lot of things are new to me, the strategy, the pitstops and all the rules that are quite strict,” he explained.

Rossi has scored a best result of fifth place in both the Endurance and Sprint Cup legs of the GTWCE this year.

He was fifth in the six-hour Paul Ricard enduro in June together with Frederic Vervisch and Nico Muller and then repeated that result together with Vervisch in the second of the two one-hour sprint races at Misano earlier this month.


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