MotoGP star Valentino Rossi, younger brother Luca Marini and VR46 Riders Academy director Alessio Salucci missed out on a repeat of last year's class victory in the Gulf 12 Hours sportscar race.

But the trio, again driving a Monster VR46-backed Kessel Ferrari 488, did fight their way forwards from eighth on the grid to claim third in the 'Pro-Am' category and cross the finish line in fourth overall.

The #46 car made good progress during the opening six hours around the Bahrain International Circuit to be classified in fifth place (fourth in the 'Pro-Am' class) by the half-time break, albeit already a lap down on the cars ahead after a drive-through penalty for exceeding track limits.

When the race restarted for the remaining six hours, held at night, the VR46 drivers were more competitive in the cooler conditions and gained one further position to secure the final place on the 'Pro-Am' rostrum.

They were one lap down on the class-winning Dinamic Porsche 911 and two laps behind the 2 Seas Motorsport McLaren 720S GT3 of Isa Bin Abdulla Alkhalifa, Ben Barnicoat and Martin Kodrić, which took the overall race victory.

Rossi and MotoGP rookie Marini are scheduled to switch back to two-wheels next month for their respective debuts at Petronas Yamaha and Avintia Ducati, during the opening 2021 pre-season test at Sepang in Malaysia (Covid restrictions permitting).

The new MotoGP season is then due to begin in Qatar, also venue for the final pre-season test, at the end of March.

 

Provisional 2021 MotoGP Calendar

Round

Date

Race

Circuit

1

28 March

Qatar

Losail

2

11 April

Argentina

Termas de Rio Hondo

3

18 April

Americas

COTA

4

2 May

Spain

Jerez

5

16 May

France

Le Mans

6

30 May

Italy

Mugello

7

6 June

Catalunya

Barcelona

8

20 June

Netherlands

Assen

9

27 June

Germany

Sachsenring

10

11 July

Finland*

KymiRing

11

 

To Be Decided

 

12

15 August

Austria

Red Bull Ring

13

29 August

Great Britain

Silverstone

14

12 September

Aragon

Aragon

15

19 September

San Marino e Della Riviera di Rimini

Misano

16

3 October

Japan

Motegi

17

10 October

Thailand

Buriram

18

24 October

Australia

Phillip Island

19

31 October

Malaysia

Sepang

20

14 November

Comunitat Valenciana

Ricardo Tormo