Valentino Rossi – the newest member of BMW M Motorsport works driver family

Valentino Rossi - the newest member of BMW M Motorsport works driver family
Valentino Rossi, BMW M Team WRT, GT World Challenge Europe.

Valentino Rossi – the newest member of BMW M Motorsport works driver family – The BMW M works driver team for the 2023 season is gaining a well-known 21st member. Valentino Rossi (ITA) and BMW M Motorsport have established a works commitment that goes beyond the race appearances with BMW M Team WRT declared last week. The nine-time motorcycle world champion, who called time on his long-standing, successful career on two wheels back in autumn 2021, is set to compete the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and Bathurst 12 Hour in the BMW M4 GT3 in 2023 and will also be available for further race and test appearances in BMW M Motorsport racing cars.

“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. 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!”

Andreas Roos, Head of BMW M Motorsport

“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. 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.” 

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Valentino Rossi

 Valentino Rossi History

The Italian, Valentino Rossi celebrated his maiden world championship title in the 125cc class in 1997. Two years later Rossi followed this up with the title in the 250cc class. He was promoted to the highest Grand Prix category at the time in 2000, the 500cc class, where he was crowned world champion in 2001. This category was superseded by the MotoGP the following year, and Rossi remained the measure of all things. By 2005 he had added a further four world championship titles to his collection, with titles number eight and nine following in 2008 and 2009. Rossi continued to do battle for the world championship crown regularly after that. ‘The Doctor’ has also long been committed to youth development with his VR46 Rider Academy – a ‘school‘ that helps young Italian riders with the goal to bring them to MotoGP.

Rossi also took part in testing in various racing cars early on including a Formula 1 Ferrari and Mercedes. There were also starts at the Monza rally, Italy in 2009 as well as two races in the World Rally Championship, one in 2006 in New Zealand and one in 2009 in Wales. In 2019, Rossi contested in an endurance race in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirate. After retiring from active motorcycle racing after the season finale in 2021, Rossi embarked on a new chapter of car racing. He contested the GT World Challenge Europe with Team WRT in the 2022 season.

The new year will see him compete in that race series and in the endurance classic at Bathurst, Australia alongside his BMW M works driver colleagues Maxime Martin (BEL) and Augusto Farfus (BRA). His status as works driver also gives him plenty of other options. In addition to his current fixed engagements, Rossi will be able to make further race and test appearances in various BMW M Motorsport racing cars. The 43-year-old will also have the opportunity to represent BMW M Motorsport. Details will be announced at a later date.

BMW M works drivers 2023 (in alphabetical order).

NameDate of BirthBMW M Works Driver Since
Jake Dennis (GBR)16th June 19952021
Connor De Phillippi (USA)25th December 19922018
John Edwards (USA)11th March 19912013
Philipp Eng (AUT)28th February 19902016
Augusto Farfus (BRA)3rd September 19832007
Dan Harper (GBR)8th December 20002020
Colton Herta (USA)30th March 20002023
Max Hesse (GER)23rd July 20012020
Erik Johansson (SWE)16th October 19962019
Jens Klingmann (GER)16th July 19902014
Jesse Krohn (FIN)3rd September 19902014
Maxime Martin (BEL)20th March 19862023 (2013 – 2017)
René Rast (GER)26th October 19862023
Valentino Rossi (ITA)16th February 19792023
Bruno Spengler (CAN)23rd August 19832012
Sheldon van der Linde (RSA)13th May 19992019
Dries Vanthoor (BEL)20th April 19982023
Neil Verhagen (USA)18th February 20012020
Charles Weerts (BEL)1st March 20012023
Marco Wittmann (GER)24th November 19892012
Nick Yelloly (GBR)3rd December 19902019

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