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2022 season images of Valentino Rossi competing in the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered By AWS Championship
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Gallery: Next Gen Rossi In Frame

Sep 232022

They say with age comes a cage, but in the case of nine-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi, it’s fair to cut the legendary ‘Doctor’ a bit of slack. 

Over 26 seasons, the now 43-year-old, from Urbino in Italy, became a global icon, recruited millions of fans, established incredible records and synonymously linked the Rossi name forever with elite motorcycle racing. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to argue against the fact that he has single-handedly shaped the course of modern motorcycle Grand Prix racing. 

It’s not just the championship title alone that are stand-out either. Celebrating a massive 432 Grand Prix starts, 235 podiums, and 115 wins, Rossi’s race-craft and sheer natural speed enabled some of the greatest battles for fans to witness worldwide – all with his own unique style and flair.

Rossi is the only rider in history to win World Championships in 125cc, 250cc, 500cc and MotoGP, and he is the only rider to have started 400 or more races in the sport's history; while scoring 89 victories in the Premier Class in the process. 

No-one in the history of grand prix racing has ever come close.

The phenomenon of Rossi is so great, that even for reigning 2021 MotoGP champion Fabio Quartararo, The Doctor was the inspiration to dedicate his life to MotoGP. “Valentino was and is my idol,” explained Fabio. “When I was six I saw one of his races and he was overtaking on the last corner in Jerez in 2005, and that was the moment I wanted to be there, fighting with MotoGP riders.”

VR46 on Four Wheels

Of course, when in November 2021, Rossi decided to hang up his race leathers once and for all, it came as no surprise that he would continue racing in some form. A life of speed and competition is not something that you can simply mic-drop on. 

Alongside running his own VR46 racing team in MotoGP, Rossi committed to a campaign driving in the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe, Powered By AWS. Signed to drive a Audi R8 LMS for Team WRT, Rossi has been taking in some of his favorite circuits from his new four wheel office since the season began at Imola in early April. 
 

“Everybody knows that I have always been a great car racing fan and that I have always been interested in racing on four wheels once my MotoGP career would come to an end,” explained Rossi. “Now I am completely available to devote myself to a car racing program at a high level and with the right professional approach.”

 

Naturally, Rossi’s talent shone through early – and he has already locked in a top-five finishes at the six-hour endurance race at the Circuit Paul Ricard, and at round eight at Hockenheim in Germany.

 

“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, and I am enjoying the racing,” Rossi told waiting media after the race in Germany. 

 

“For sure, I need to improve, and with more kilometers through the season I need to understand how to drive the car in a better and faster way. I also need to work hard, because a lot of things are new to me, the strategy, the pit stops and all the rules that are quite strict.”

 

Be sure to check out Rossi’s progress via Instagram and scroll through the epic gallery of shots below…

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