Rossi and his teammate Frederic Vervisch finished 15th on Saturday then 16th on Sunday but it was a chastening experience that the motorcycle racing legend will not remember fondly.

Racing in Zandvoort, the Netherlands, this weekend brought Rossi’s maiden four-wheel championship since retiring from MotoGP to its halfway mark.

The Italian first crashed in Friday’s practice meaning he and Vervisch swapped their Team WRT Audi in the trademark yellow livery of Rossi for a green substitute.

Rossi, now 43, showed signs of improvement in the first sprint race of the weekend with a slick overtake on the inside after creeping up on Chris Froggatt’s Mercedes.

But Rossi later spun - they finished +21.753 off the pace set by fellow Team WRT duo Charles Weerts and Dries Vanthoor.

Rossi and Vervisch were +23.857 behind the winners of Race 2, Mercedes’ Timur Boguslavskiy and Raffaele Marciello, in 16th place.

Rossi will return behind the steering wheel in the coming week, 21-22 June, for a test day ahead of the 24 Hours of Spa.

His next race in the GT World Challenge Europe is 1-3 July in Misano, Italy.