The seven-time MotoGP champion took part in his second round of the 2022 GT World Challenge Europe at Brands Hatch last weekend, scoring his first points thanks to an eighth place finish in race two. 

It was quite the weekend for Rossi on what was his first-ever visit to the famous Brands Hatch circuit, as the Motorcycle legend had to avoid a big crash in the opening race. 

After finishing 13th in said race one, Rossi, along with team-mate Frederic Vervisch combined for their best result of the season.

While it’s no surprise to see Rossi racing on four-wheels - often alluded to it being his goal after life as a MotoGP racer - the ‘burning passion’ in which he’s doing it with, has continued to impress, as Keith Huewen stated on the latest episode of Crash.net’s MotoGP podcast.  

Huewen said: "A lot of us have dabbled with four wheels after the bikes and I think Valentino had a lot of talent with four-wheels. Going back to the early days Ferrari looked at him and so on. 

"But I think Brands Hatch, sunshine and Valentino Rossi, what’s not to like about that weekend. Valentino, even going on 44 years of age, he’s made sure to have the right people around him to sharpen his edge and I can’t see where he’s going to stop. 

"You adjust the series to your capabilities to some extent. When you’re really old you go classic racing, there’s so many great classic races to go to. 

"Valentino doesn’t need money at all, he doesn’t need any more fame and he’s now with child. His family is now building and we’re in that situation where it’s just absolute burning passion that he has in his heart."

Like any championship, reputation and finance can only take you so far, meaning results shape how well, but also how long you stick around. 

And while it’s still early days regarding his new career, Rossi and those around him will expect to see improvements continue as he gains more experience. 

"If he doesn’t see an improvement then he’ll either adjust the series to something that suits him better or he’ll wind it down to some extent,” continued Huewen. “You will always have that in your mind and it will always be there. He’ll never lose that, especially him. 

"Here’s a guy who’s gone into old age effectively; from a racing point of view that is. Men from the 50s used to race into their 40s but it’s quite a rare thing nowadays. 

"Some of that is down to the fact teams give you the sack before you get the chance to develop any further, as there’s this raft of youngsters coming through, although that’s now changed with the 18 year-old entry level rule that comes into effect next year. 

"Normally the decision on where, how and when you go racing is not your decision. You’re always racing at the highest level that you can race at, you’re always trying to move that step forward, but eventually someone makes that decision for you. 

"We talked about Dovizioso for example. It will probably be his decision also, but he won’t get an opportunity to race in MotoGP next year, I don’t believe. There will be other riders who will be feeling nervous and looking around and seeing who’s in their slipstream for their ride. So you get eased out fairly soon." 

Rossi still ‘top ten material’ at the time of MotoGP retirement? 

Although Rossi struggled during his final MotoGP seasons, particularly 2020 and 21, the nine-time world champion was still very capable given the right circumstances. 

The Italian, who announced on several occasions that winning a tenth world title was his major goal, was ultimately unable to do so, however, Huewen doesn’t think Rossi will lose ‘sleep’ over records he failed to reach. 

"Valentino Rossi retired at the top level," said Huewen. "He was still top ten material any day of the week. Even in his worst years. 

"He’s still got the most wins in MotoGP - Agostini is behind him - but Agostini won more championships by one I think. 

"I think he has eight and Rossi won seven in the premier class, so there are still things Rossi didn’t achieve, but these are not things of interest or that he will be losing any sleep over. 

"But that momentum, that drive to go forward, he won’t keep going forward if he can’t see a step forward because that’s the way racers are wired. 

"Even Valentino Rossi won’t be offered a top drive going forward if he’s not performing." 

So what next for Rossi after making his car racing debut in 2022?

As experience continues to grow, and hopefully for Rossi’s sake his results reflect that, the Italian could be looking at participating in some of the world’s biggest races. 

Peter McLaren, Crash.net’s MotoGP Editor, believes Rossi is aiming to compete in the 24h of Le Mans and 24h of Spa races. 

McLaren added: "In terms of where Rossi wants to go with this long-term, I think Le Mans is the goal. Everything he spoke about last year, his eyes would light up when speaking about doing Le Mans. 

"I’m no expert on sportscar races so I don’t know exactly the path to get there from where he is now, but that seems to be what he’s looking at. Once he achieves that then who knows. I think he said it depends on how competitive he is. 

"In terms of this year, it looks like the highlight for him would be racing at Spa. There’s a big 24h race at Spa that his championship does. He’s also never raced at Spa before and it’s of course a legendary track, so that’s another one he could tick off. 

"Those two things seem to be motivating factors for him, aside from the obvious thing which is being competitive. 

"Rossi is a winner and has to believe he has a chance. As long as he sees steps forward then I’m sure he’ll keep doing it."

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