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Valentino Rossi to race Bathurst 12 Hour

Italian motorcycle legend Valentino Rossi will race in February's Bathurst 12 Hour endurance event. (Scott Barbour/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

Motorcycle GP legend Valentino Rossi will take to the grid in 2023's Bathurst 12 Hour race in February.

The 43-year-old Italian, a seven-time world champion on two wheels, will drive a BMW M4 GT3 for the WRT team in the high-octane event, which takes place at the iconic Mount Panorama from February 3-5.

The highest-profile driver to compete in the Australian endurance event since its relaunch in 2007, Rossi will be racing for the first time on Bathurst's famous circuit.

He is no stranger to Australia, though, having eight times won the MotoGP on Phillip Island prior to his retirement from bike racing in 2021.

His co-drivers will be experienced GT and Endurance specialists Maxime Martin, from Belgium, and Brazilian Augusto Farfus.

The signing of Rossi to race the Bathurst 12 Hour is a coup for the race, with event director Shane Rudzis saying: "Valentino Rossi is one of the biggest names in the world of motorsport and we're proud that the Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour will be his first experience of Mount Panorama.

"Having had so much success here on two wheels, Valentino has an enormous Australian fanbase.

"It's one of the most significant driver announcements in Bathurst 12 Hour history and we are thankful to BMW, WRT, Valentino and his team for making it happen.

"We can't wait to welcome him to Mount Panorama next February."

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