The nine-time world champion, who switched to sportscar racing after retiring from the premier class at the end of 2021, took to the thrilling Portuguese Grand Prix circuit alongside the likes of newly crowned world champion Francesco Bagnaia plus fellow MotoGP riders Franco Morbidelli, Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi, as well as the Academy's Moto2 and Moto3 competitors.

"Back on track on 2 wheels in the marvellous Portimao with our guys. The motorcycle season is officially open," Rossi, who holds the all-time premier-class record of 89 wins, wrote on Instagram, alongside a video from the outing (below).

The Italian, whose Academy is supported by Yamaha while the Mooney VR46 Racing team uses Ducati machinery, was riding an R1. Rumours persist that the VR46 squad could become Yamaha's new satellite MotoGP team in the near future.

Due to the strict MotoGP testing rules, active riders can only train on track with lightly modified production bikes.

Bagnaia revealed that he had set a time of 1m 43.286s on a Panigale V4S Superbike, which compares impressively with the official MotoGP race lap record of 1m 39.435s, by Yamaha's Fabio Quartararo last season.

The VR46 competitors were using the two days at Portimao to get back up to speed ahead of official grand prix testing, which for the MotoGP class starts at Sepang in Malaysia from February 10-12.

Meanwhile, Rossi is switching from Audi to BMW for his second season at the WRT squad in the GT World Challenge.

The 43-year-old began his BMW career with a podium finish in the 24 Hours of Dubai earlier this month.