BMW M signs Valentino Rossi as works driver, to race Bathurst 12 Hour

Alexi Falson

In a somewhat surprising piece of news, BMW M has announced it has signed none other than nine-time Moto GP champion, Valentino ‘The Doctor’ Rossi to its M Motorsport works driver program.

After hanging up the helmet from an illustrious 25-year career in Moto GP, Valentino Rossi has become the latest in a 21-strong M Motorsport team. He will take part in several high-profile races this year, including the Bathurst 12 Hour here in Australia.

Rossi already has a full season of GT World Challenge Europe racing under his belt after joining Team WRT for the 2022 season, running a BMW M4 GT3 in the GT class.

He has also taken part in F1 tests for Ferrari and Mercedes, brief stints in the World Rally Championship and an endurance race in Abu Dhabi in 2019.

BMW says that its latest recruit will be put to the test in the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe series and pilot his M4 GT3 over the hill at Mount Panorama for the Bathurst 12 Hour event in February. Rossi said:

“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. 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.”

The 2023 Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour will take place on the weekend of February 3-5, as the opening round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge.

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