MotoGP legend Rossi "one of many guys" at WRT forward of GT change - Motor Informed
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MotoGP legend Rossi “one of many guys” at WRT forward of GT change

9-time world champion Rossi referred to as time on his 26-season grand prix bike racing profession on the finish of final 12 months, and has joined up with the crack sportscar outfit WRT for a full-season assault on GT World Problem Europe throughout the Dash and Endurance divisions.

The 43-year-old will probably be partnered with Audi manufacturing unit driver Frederic Vervisch throughout each championships, with Nico Muller becoming a member of the pair for the Endurance rounds.

Based on 1996 Zandvoort Formulation three Masters winner Mollekens, who ran his single-seater group KTR till 2015 and joined the WRT set-up in 2020, Rossi has already settled effectively into the Belgian group and is relishing being handled as a “regular” individual.

Requested by Autosport whether or not Rossi was handled like another buyer within the group’s five-car GTWCE roster, Mollekens stated: “Completely. For me that was straightforward as a result of I don’t comply with MotoGP that a lot, though clearly I do know who he’s.

“However for our knowledge man it was a bit extra sophisticated as a result of he’s a large fan, so to deal with him like all regular driver was a lot tougher.

“However he was skilled sufficient to do exactly that and that’s what made the collaboration profitable. Valentino in a short time requested to have that knowledge engineer on his automobile for the season as a result of it clicked and it went effectively.

“The extra regular you deal with him, the extra he likes it and the higher he performs.

“By now, we managed to put in that environment the place he’s simply one of many guys and it was essential to get to that as quickly as doable.”

Rossi, who has beforehand made fleeting appearances in Ferrari GT vehicles over the previous decade, accomplished his newest two days of testing final week at Paul Ricard.

Mollekens stated he had been impressed by Rossi’s adaption to the Audi and believes he could be a podium finisher this 12 months.

#46 WRT Audi R8 LMS GT3

#46 WRT Audi R8 LMS GT3

Picture by: SRO

Requested what the group’s targets had been for him, Mollekens replied: “Lots depends upon the type of the automobile over the season.

“I’d count on him to run within the high 10 in a short time, if issues go effectively top-five, and I’d be dissatisfied if there weren’t one or two podiums by the top of the season.”

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Mollekens added that Rossi can go “mainly anyplace” within the sportscar enviornment within the years to come back.

WRT already has a presence in prototype racing by means of its LMP2 arm that gained its class on the first try within the Le Mans 24 Hours and World Endurance Championship final season, in addition to taking the European Le Mans Sequence title.

It has been broadly anticipated to step up into the Hypercar class of the WEC with Audi subsequent 12 months, though the mooted cancellation of its LMDh venture might end in the team opening discussions with different producers.

“While you get folks like Valentino for instance, at first you don’t know actually what to anticipate,” Mollekens stated.

“Then you definitely get him within the automobile and also you see what the potential is, then you definitely realise it’s higher than possibly you anticipated or nearly as good as anticipated, and you may see the place you wish to go along with that.

“Nevertheless it’s mainly anyplace, other than possibly F1 in fact. Whether or not he needs to do GTs, LMP, LMDh or no matter, it’s all doable, it’s all on the market for him as a result of he has that expertise.”

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