‘The Doctor’ joins BMW M for 2023 season

Valentino Rossi

Following his retirement in motorcycle Grand Prix (MotoGP) last year, Valentino Rossi has joined the BMW M driver roster for the 2023 season.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Where will Valentino Rossi compete next year?

    Rossi will participate in the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe and Bathurst 12 Hour.
  • What BMW vehicle will Rossi use in the 2023 races?

    Rossi will use the BMW M4 GT3 in the scheduled races for 2023.
  • The Munich-based company made the announcement, saying that the nine-time motorcycle world champion — known for his moniker “The Doctor” — will contest in the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and Bathurst 12 Hour in the BMW M4 GT3 next year. For the endurance race, he will be joined by other BMW M works drivers namely Maxime Martin and Augusto Farfus.

    Rossi, who bagged 115 wins and 235 podiums (and made history by winning titles in the 125cc, 250cc, 500cc, and MotoGP categories before calling it time in his illustrious career) on two wheels, will also be available for further race and test appearances in BMW M Motorsport racing cars.

    Valentino Rossi

    “Valentino Rossi needs no introduction. As one of the most successful motorcycle riders of all time, he has made history. His successes on the racetrack and his personality have quite rightly made him a living legend,” BMW M Motorsport Head Andreas Roos said.

    “But Valentino has proved that he is also an excellent racer on four wheels. He has shown that car racing has become his second motorsport home, and he brings all his passion, skills and commitment to this new chapter of his career. It’s fantastic that Valentino will be joining our BMW M Motorsport family as a new works driver next year. We’re really looking forward to working together – welcome aboard Vale!” he added.

    BMW M4 GT3

    For his part, Rossi expressed pride upon becoming an official BMW M works driver.

    “Last year I started racing seriously in cars and I finished my first season with the WRT team with whom I got on very well and I am very happy that the WRT team chose BMW M Motorsport as a new partner. I have already had a chance to test the BMW M4 GT3 twice and the feeling with the car is very good. I think we could be competitive next season. Also, BMW M Motorsport has given me the opportunity to race with two very strong drivers next year, Maxime Martin and Augusto Farfus. I still have a lot to learn and improve, but I hope to be up to the task and fast enough to fight during the race weekends,” he added.

    Prior to becoming the 21st member of the BMW M team, Rossi also participated in testing various racing cars early on – including a Formula 1 Ferrari and Mercedes.

    BMW M4 GT3

    BMW shared that Rossi also had a stint at the Monza rally in 2009 as well as two races in the World Rally Championship (2006 in New Zealand and 2009 in Wales). In 2019, Rossi competed in an endurance race in Abu Dhabi.

    After retiring from motorcycle racing in 2021, the 43-year-old Rossi joined the GT World Challenge Europe with Team WRT in the 2022 season.

    Photos from BMW

    Also read:

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    Watch F1’s Hamilton, MotoGP’s Rossi Trade Rides

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