Valentino Rossi will return to Rally GB, the final round of the 2008 World Rally Championship, this December - an event he crashed out of after just 17 kilometres in 2002.

Rossi was forced to abandon a planned Rally GB return one year ago in order to undertake a test session with new tyre supplier Bridgestone.

However, according to the official MotoGP website, the Fiat Yamaha star - who can secure his sixth MotoGP crown this Sunday in Japan - has been able to fit the 2008 event between his MotoGP testing schedule.

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Rossi's Rally GB machinery is yet to be confirmed.

Rossi, who drove a Michelin-backed Peugeot during his 2002 Rally GB and WRC debut (pictured), posted the 25th fastest time during a short opening stage in Cardiff, but was caught out by the slippery Welsh forests early the next morning - in what was the first real stage of the rally - when his 206 slowly slid off the road on a tight left hand turn, forcing a frustrating retirement.

It took four years before Rossi returned to the World Rally Championship, in the penultimate round of the 2006 season, but the New Zealand outing was much more promising for the seven-time world champion as he steered a Subaru Impreza from 24th, to 13th and then 11th over the three days, setting a best stage time of seventh in the process.

Rossi will also enter November's tarmac-based Monza Rally, an event he won last year in a Pirelli-shod Ford Focus.

The 2008 MotoGP season concludes at Valencia on October 26.