Valentino Rossi, a nine-time world champion motorcycle, cheers Magny-Cours on the car: “I can use the new circuit!”

Valentino Rossi, a nine-time world champion motorcycle, cheers Magny-Cours on the car: “I can use the new circuit!”

Magny-Cours, Valentino Rossi. Valentino Rossi, Magny-Cours. The Nivernais circuit and the Italian driver met on Friday May 13 during the first free GT World Challenge Europe training sessions. “I’m never ridden here during my career. But like any fan of the car game, I know. For Formula 1, of course, but also and most of all for the World bike.”

A story about a mythical cycle

The meeting continues Saturday evening (7:30 pm) and Sunday afternoon (3 pm). Two races are on the menu of the world champion speed motorcycle nine times. These names, found between 1996 and 2021, in four categories (125 cc, 250 cc, 500 cc then MotoGP), forged the story of one of the most famous 21st century athletes, who is still fascinated. “I can find a new cycle. It’s wonderful!»

Valentino Rossi (Audi). GT World Challenge Europe, Nevers-Magny-Cours cycle, Friday May 13, 2022. Photo by Pierre Destrade

Instead of sinking into a peaceful and golden retirement, Valentino Rossi, who competed in his last MotoGP race in November last year, has opted to start a new career. At 43, away from the motorcycle, in the car. Audi R8 LMS GT3, which he has been learning to breed since this season for the Belgian WRT team. “I had several options. I chose a team that gave me more confidence.”

Best in the “sprint” format.

Because you can be called Valentino Rossi, you have won 128 times in the world fast motorcycle race, and you need to be guaranteed to be in the car. During the first round of this season with all eyes on him, the driver missed out on a hole in the ground. “In the next round (in Imola, a month later), I entered the points.” The first of his new life, he who has collected 6,357 (including podium 235) in the previous.

More fun in the race format than in the endurance format, “because it’s closer to the MotoGP atmosphere”, Valentino Rossi had already arrived at Magny-Cours, on a local scout earlier this year. “I’ll see at the weekend if I like this cycle”, smiles the driver who had already tasted the car: tests in the mid-2000s to sign with Ferrari in F1, the first round of Blancpain’s endurance series (now GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup) aboard the Ferrari 458 Italy GT3, a seven-time winner of the Monza Rally Show, taking part in 12 Gulf Hours.

In numbers

432 The Motorcycle Grands Prix competed between 1996 and 2021.

9world championships (seven in 500cc or MotoGP).

128victory (plus 89 in 500 cc or Moto GP).

2points he earned during his youth career at GT. Thanks for the eighth place in the final round at Imola.



French FFSA GT Tournament. The main car racing championship in the Grand Touring unit in France. Combined cars: Alpine A110, Aston Martin Vantage, Audi R8 LMS, BMW M4, Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang, Ginetta G56, KTM X-Bow, McLaren 570S, Mercedes-AMG, Porsche 718 Cayman Clubsport, Porsche ClubsGR Cayman, MRH. Supra.

French F4 Championship. Reference competition for young drivers (ages 14 to 23) of one seat. Properly designed and operated by FFSA College trainees and painted at the beginning of the season, these vehicles ensure balance between drivers.

Clio Cup Series. The competition organized by Renault Sport Racing puts its skills and expertise in the service of professional and inexperienced drivers.

Alpine Elf Europa Cup. Competition involving Alpine A110 Cup.

Porsche Carrera Cup in France. Competition organized by Porsche France. It is open to all drivers who are licensed internationally and are registered on an approved Porsche wheel.

Mitjet Trophy 2L. One-race race with a car designed for racing only. All drivers start with the same vehicles (chassis, engine, gear box…), only a few adjustments can be made.

French FFSA Tourism Competition. FFSA Tourisme is a new step towards reaching the SRO Motorsports Group competition pyramid. With its race design and excellent quality / price ratio, this competition aims to highlight the drivers’ talent.

GT World Challenge Europe. Competition that brings together Grand Touring cars. It brings together the two GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup and the GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Cup.


Saturday May 14th. Mitjet 2 L Trophy (9 am and 5.45 pm), French F4 Championship (10.05 am and 6.25 pm), Porsche Carrera Cup France (11.35 am), Clio Cup Series (12.30 pm), Alpine Elf Europa Cup (2.25 pmGT). World Challenge (7.30 pm), French FFSA Tourism Competition (9pm), French FFSA GT Competition (9.55 pm).

Sunday May 15th. F4 (9 am), FFA tourism (10.20 am and 4.30 pm), FFSA GT (12.10 pm), GT World Challenge (3 pm), Clio Cup Series (5.20 pm).

Owen Cudgel

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