Valentino Rossi has committed to his first full-time commitment in his post-MotoGP era as he joins Team WRT in GT World Challenge Europe.

Eyeing a sportscar career for his future outside MotoGP, Rossi has taken first step having committed to a full season in GT World Challenge Europe in 2022 with Team WRT. The Italian will drive the Audi R8 LMS Evo II carrying his iconic #46 number.

He will race both in the Endurance and Sprint categories with his teammates to be announced by Audi at a later stage. “I am delighted to join Team WRT for a full Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS programme,” said Rossi.

“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. Now I am completely available to devote myself to a car racing programme at a high level and with the right professional approach.

“Team WRT is the perfect fit I was looking for and I am anxious to start this new adventure in the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS with them.” At the same time, Vincent Vosse, WRT Team Principal, stated: “I am sure that a lot of fans will be as pleased as we are that Rossi is starting a new career on four wheels and that he is doing it in GT, with Team WRT and Audi.

“We all know what a great motorbike champion and sports figure Vale is, but most of all, he is a true racer and a very professional and competitive sportsman, eager to be as successful as possible in the new challenge he has decided to embrace. This is exactly why we really wanted to work with him.

“The test we made at Valencia was extremely positive for both parties, in terms of technical feedback and working approach, and we took things from there. We warmly welcome Vale in the WRT family and I am sure that we are off to a very exciting experience for both.”

And finally, Stephane Ratel, SRO Motorsports Group founder & CEO, added: “I am delighted to welcome Valentino Rossi to the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS grid for 2022. Having followed his illustrious career in motorcycle racing for more than two decades, it is truly exciting to witness the start of this new chapter in GT machinery.

“To attract a competitor of Valentino’s stature is a tremendous vote of confidence for our championship and for GT racing in general. He will bring new energy to our paddock and I look forward to watching him on-track this season.”