On December 22, 2022, the BMW M Motorsport division officially announced that Valentino Rossi will join the team as a new Works driver next year. It’s been just over a year since the MotoGP legend officially retired from the sport for which he was best known, but it just goes to show that racers are, in fact, going to race.
As fans of the Doctor are no doubt aware, he’s been competing with the W Racing Team in the GT World Challenge series in Europe for the 2022 season. 2023 is shaping up to be a big year for him as well, as he’ll drive for BMW M Team WRT in the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe series, as well as compete in the Bathurst 12 Hour in February, where he’ll be driving a BMW M4 GT3. Additionally, BMW says, he may make other racing and/or test appearances in BMW M race cars over the course of the year.
For those unfamiliar, the Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, also referred to as Australia’s international endurance race, is held each year at Australia’s incomparable Mount Panorama circuit. Even if you don’t watch a lot of car racing, it’s a one-of-a-kind spectacle to behold. For those of us who aren’t in Oz, there’s usually an official livestream on YouTube if you want to watch it live. 2023 live streaming details aren’t available yet, but we’ll include a link to the official Bathurst 12 Hour site in our Sources so you can check back closer to the race dates of February 3 through 5, 2023.
Gallery: Valentino Rossi joins BMW M Motorsport driver roster for 2023
“I am very proud to become an official BMW M works driver and it is a great opportunity. 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,” Valentino Rossi said in a statement.
“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 concluded.
“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 Andreos Roos said.
He went on to add, “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!”