Will Valentino Rossi cope with the 24 Hours of Spa? “You have to be very brave"

Valentino Rossi has detailed “the secret” to overcoming the most challenging section at the 24 Hours of Spa as he gears up to compete for the first time.
Valentino Rossi
Valentino Rossi

The famous endurance race has long been a bucket list objective for the MotoGP legend, and he will represent Team WRT alongside Frederic Vervisch and Nico Mueller in the #46 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II on July 28-31.

Rossi, aged 43, has completed two days of testing at the iconic Spa-Francorchamps track in Belgium but the race itself will be his biggest moment on four wheels.

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Rossi has described tackling the Eau Rouge-Raidillon part of the track - a high-speed uphill section which has previously been modified for safety reasons.

“It was a great feeling,” Rossi said to Sportscar365. “It’s a corner where you have to be very brave, but not just that.

“It’s a very technical corner. The line makes the difference. You need to stay to the right on entry with the wall, but because you are on the left in the car, it’s very difficult to get close to the wall without touching. This is the first problem.

“And after, for the line on the left to go flat on the right, is the secret. But not on every lap can you do it.

“You have a lot of compression when you go up and when you have the biggest compression, you have a moment where for about 80 metres it’s completely blind.

“So you don’t know exactly where you are, if you are inside the car or outside.

Valentino Rossi, Misano WorldSBK race1, 11 June
Valentino Rossi, Misano WorldSBK race1, 11 June

“It’s a lot easier compared to the past became you have asphalt, so you can decide to cut. This makes it more easy to find the limit.

“I did a lot of laps in the simulator but had never been for real.

“There is a lot of up and down. You enjoy it a lot when you drive. It is very difficult to make the perfect lap. The first day [of testing] was not so bad; our performance was quite fast.

“On the second day we suffered a bit more because we tried to modify the car, but we found some good solutions.”

The 24 Hours of Spa is a part of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe, Rossi’s first championship in a car rather than on a bike.

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