With Valentino Rossi’s MotoGP retirement edging closer, questions are starting to be asked on his future plans. Could a WEC entry be one of them?
When Rossi announced he would be calling time on his MotoGP career earlier this year, speculation began almost instantly on what he would do in his life after racing motorcycles.
Much of this pointed towards some kind of endurance-based career for The Doctor, with many believing he would be part of Ferrari’s LMH outfit from 2023. But this idea was quickly ruled out in July this year so if a WEC switch is on The Doctor’s mind, it will be in one of the GTE cars.
Rossi has been no stranger to rally cars either. He has competed in a number of rally events over the years from Rally New Zealand to Rally GB and his most notable outings being in the Rally Monza Show.
The 42-year-old had strong links to a WRC switch in 2007 but turned this opportunity down to remain in MotoGP. So it’s not completely out of the question that he could try out a full-time WRC drive.
At the moment, however, all of the signs are pointing towards a potential GTE entry in WEC for Rossi. Ahead of MotoGP’s outing in Portimao last weekend, The Doctor was testing a Ferrari 488 GT3 car at Misano supplied by Kessel Racing earlier this week.
The test likely means Rossi will compete in the 2022 Gulf 12 Hour race, which he competed in at the start of both 2019 and 2021. The Petronas SRT rider ended the 2019 race first in the Pro-Am class and took third in the same class this year.
With no commitments to MotoGP to worry about in 2022, this could be the perfect set-up for Rossi to be an entrant into WEC, maybe not full-time for now, but an entry into the Le Mans 24 next year could be a good starting point.
‘The Doctor’ would be able to get a perfect feel for endurance racing in the WEC series with a Le Mans outing and from there he could pursue a full-time drive from 2023 if he felt it was the right path to go down.
As reported by The Race last week, Rossi also brought into question whether he could be a good fit for a future Hypercar entry after a stint racing GT cars.
Rossi’s name would be a massive addition to any racing paddock, especially the likes of the GT World Challenge or the European Le Mans Series.
While there will be some well known names in the four-wheeled world all searching for a seat in the Hypercar class going forward, don’t be surprised to see ‘The Doctor’s name thrown in the hat either.
Whatever the future holds for Rossi, his next career move could be yet another historical chapter in an already incredible racing record.