Fresh from Monday's Mercedes F1 ride-swap with Lewis Hamilton, MotoGP's Valentino Rossi headed straight to Abu-Dhabi where he is competing in this weekend's Gulf 12 Hours sports car race at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Joined by brother Luca Marini and friend Alessio 'Uccio' Salucci, Rossi is driving a Monster VR46 Ferrari 488 in the 'GT3 PRO-AM' class.

The Doctor set an overall best time of 2m 9.589s in qualifying, but the team's average across the three 15-minute sessions was 2m 11.128s, good enough to start seventh out of 30 cars in Saturday's race.

The leading 'GT3 PRO-AM' class entry was the #77 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán, which qualified in second place with a 2m 9.285s average around a circuit that recently hosted the F1 season finale.

Pole position went to the #48 HTP Motorsport Mercedes, which is one of only four machines entered in the top 'GT3 PRO' class, with an average lap time of 2m 9.066s.

Former grand prix racer Loris Capirossi is also on track this weekend in a Kessel Racing-run Ferrari 488, but as part of the 'GT3 AM' category alongside Alexis De Bernardi and Niki Cadei. The trio qualified in 15th place with a time of 2m 12.035s.

Saturday's race starts at 9:30am and will be split into two parts (6-hours each), with a two-hour break in the middle.

Due to the winter test ban, Rossi will not be back in MotoGP action until the opening 2020 test at Sepang in early February.

Fellow VR46 rider Franco Morbidelli is also in action this weekend, albeit on two-wheels at Sepang, qualifying on pole for the circuit's inaugural 8 Hours EWC race. 

 

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