Rossi plans GT3 race after MotoGP retirement

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Rossi, the nine-time grand prix motorcycle world champion, is in his 26th season in the MotoGP World Championship and potentially his last, as his current Yamaha contract with Petronas SRT expires at the end of 2021.

Rossi will decide his future in MotoGP over the summer break, although he is currently in the middle of his worst Grand Prix season with just 15 points from the first seven races.

It is understood that Rossi has performance criteria in his Yamaha contract that he must meet in 2021 before discussions on 2022 can take place, with his current form unlikely to meet them.

Rossi made no secret of his desire to continue racing by car after his retirement from MotoGP, expressing his interest in participating in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

After making successful endurance rides in Ferrari GT3 machines in recent years, Rossi says he is likely to compete in this category of machines when he retires from MotoGP – but is unsure in which series.

“As I’ve always said, when I’m done with MotoGP, I want to race with the cars,” said Rossi.

“I have gained some rally experience because I am a rally fanatic.

“I also did a world championship race, but for me the rally at the end is difficult because it is very demanding and I want to race on circuits because I prefer it, I like it more.

Valentino Rossi in action Blancpain Endurance Series at Monza in 2012

Photo by: SRO

“I have experience in GT3, which is an interesting category because it has a lot of different, important factory cars – from Ferraris to Porsches, from Bentleys to Aston Martin.

“So I think I’m going to be racing this type of car when I stop racing in MotoGP. But I really don’t know which championship.

“There is a difference, there is the endurance championship, there are the 24 hours, a lot of races. But I hope to run there.

Rossi has made several outings in Ferrari GT3 machines over the past decade, with two appearances in the 2012 Blancpain Endurance Series for Kessel Racing at Monza and the Nurburgring.

Faithful to Kessel, Rossi claimed a 2019 Pro-Am class victory and a third place overall at the Gulf 12 Hours in Abu Dhabi alongside current Avintia MotoGP rider Luca Marini and his right-hand man Uccio Salucci.

Rossi also competed in the Bahrain 12 Hours in January this year with the same team, finishing third on the podium.

Outside of GT races, Rossi competed in two rounds of the World Rally Championship, collapsing from Rally GB in 2002, and finishing 11th in Rally New Zealand in 2006 in a two-year-old Subaru Impreza.

Rossi is also a seven-time rally winner at Monza and has done extensive Formula 1 testing for Ferrari and Mercedes – the latter coming to Valencia in 2019 as part of a trade with Lewis Hamilton.

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