It was the Italian motorcycle racing legend’s best result so far of his debut season on four wheels.

He had endured a day to forget on Saturday by spinning during qualifying then failing to finish the first sprint race of the weekend at the track that is just a short distance from Tavullia, his hometown in Italy.

But on Sunday Rossi demonstrated his promise behind the wheel.

He and Team WRT #46 Audi teammate Frederic Vervisch first qualified in P7.

Vervisch started the race and made excellent progress to run into seventh.

When Rossi took over he defended impressively from the pressure of Jules Gounon to finish in fifth.

The race was won by fellow Team WRT duo Charles Weerts and Dries Vanthoor.

But Rossi, now 43 and having retired from MotoGP at the end of last year, achieving such a solid result on the circuit where he won three times on two wheels will have sent the Misano fans home happy.