“Without racing, it’s just not the same,” Valentino Rossi emphasizes, highlighting a pivotal shift since his MotoGP days.

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Valentino Rossi delves into a comprehensive analysis of the variances he’s encountered between racing motorcycles and cars.

Valentino Rossi, now venturing into four-wheel racing, envisions his pinnacle at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, a long-standing dream.

Retired from MotoGP since 2021 and at 45 years old, Rossi enjoys a wealth surpassing many motorcycle racers’ aspirations.

Recently, he clinched a podium finish in only his second World Endurance Championship appearance.

Reflecting from the WEC paddock, Rossi elaborates on the disparities between racing bikes and cars. “MotoGP seems straightforward,” he shares. “You line up on the grid, navigate the first three corners crucially, then it’s full throttle till the finish.”

“Here, it’s a different ball game. Strategy reigns supreme. Tire conservation, traffic management, adaptability—all pivotal. It’s a substantial contrast and an immense challenge.”

Yet, Rossi notes, “In many aspects, the essence remains the same.”

Valentino Rossi elaborates on the similarities between racing bikes and cars: “You’re in the driver’s seat, grappling with steering, braking, finding the racing lines, engaging in battles with competitors—all remarkably akin.”

“My talent on motorcycles seamlessly translates to the car,” he asserts.

Rossi’s passion for car racing was evident even before his illustrious MotoGP career concluded. “I aspire to be a versatile driver,” he reveals. “I’ve harbored the desire to race cars since my motorcycle days ended.”

Admitting the challenges of age, he quips, “I wish I were ten years younger! But I’ve consistently honed my skills over the years. My aim is to match the proficiency of GT3 cars.”

Acknowledging the inevitability of age, he reflects, “At 45, I’m not the same as I was at 25. It was time to bid farewell to motorcycles, though it’s hard. Racing is ingrained in me—I’ve lived and breathed it since I was 14. Staying idle at home quickly becomes tedious; I crave the thrill of the track.”

Transitioning from MotoGP to the World Endurance Championship, Rossi observes a notable shift in team dynamics. “MotoGP is more solitary; here, teamwork is paramount,” he notes.

“Collaborating closely with teammates within the same car is integral. Car racing entails numerous meetings and briefings, unlike the relatively fewer in motorcycle racing. It’s a different rhythm.”



Now in his third season of four-wheeled racing, Rossi has found his niche with Team WRT, a Belgian outfit that prioritizes his skills as a racer over his celebrity status—a refreshing change for him.

“Throughout my motorcycle career, I’ve been exploring opportunities to race with cars,” Rossi explains. “While I’ve also been attracted to rallies, I’ve come to realize that GT3 racing is where I belong. The cars are exceptional—fast and exhilarating to drive, with lap times comparable to MotoGP.”

Navigating the transition, Rossi deliberated with various manufacturers before settling with Team WRT. “Vincent Vosse, the team boss, was the most convincing,” he reveals.

“When he visited Tavullia, he spoke passionately about racing, not just PR. As someone who’s raced all my life, that resonated with me. In our first meeting, Vincent emphasized the importance of placing me in the right environment, with the right teammates—and he was absolutely right.”

Reflecting on his victory at Misano last year, Rossi draws parallels between the euphoria of winning on four wheels and his MotoGP triumphs.

“That feeling of crossing the finish line in first place—it’s indescribable,” he shares. “It’s what drives me and many others in this sport. That moment makes all the sacrifices worthwhile.”

Le Mans remains the pinnacle for Rossi. “It’s been my goal from the start,” he declares. “I’ve always admired Le Mans, but experiencing it as a car driver brings a whole new perspective.

The atmosphere, the people—it’s electrifying. I can’t wait to race there, although there’s still much to learn, especially during the race itself.”

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