Is the 24 Hours of Le Mans Valentino Rossi's next goal?
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Is the 24 Hours of Le Mans Valentino Rossi's next goal?

Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi ended his MotoGP career at the Valencia Grand Prix, and will now turn his attention to other pursuits. Could the 24 Hours of Le Mans serve as a new challenge for the Italian racer?

After 26 years competing in Grand Prix, Valentino Rossi (age 42) took his 432nd and final start in MotoGP this weekend in Valencia. His track record is outstanding, with 115 wins and 199 podiums (10th overall in Valencia). Valentino Rossi: "I didn't think it would be a weekend like this. I was very worried because there was so much pressure and things to do. But, it was fantastic. I was given a lot of encouragement from everyone in the paddock, and a bunch of surprises, like seeing all my motos on Thursday and the racers from the VR46 Academy with my helmets on Sunday. I'm also happy because I was able to do a good job during qualifying and in the race, finishing in the top 10. That's a great way to end. I am in the top 10 of the best racers in the world, and that says it all and is my legacy. I enjoyed the post-race celebrations too. It was a long career and I want to thank everyone involved."

Rossi is a huge motorsport fan in general and would love to continue competing, but this time on four wheels. He even explained at the 2019 Shark Grand Prix de France that he would consider taking part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans: "When I stop doing MotoGP, I could still race cars for another 10 years. I really enjoy it and and am thinking of trying to do the 24 Hours of Le Mans."

During his MotoGP career, Rossi executed multiple testing sessions in Formula 1 with Ferrari, and won the Monza Rally Show several times at the wheel of a Ford Focus and a Fiesta WRC. This year, he finished third at the 12 Hours of Abu Dhabi sharing a Ferrari 488 GT3 fielded by Monster VR46 Kessel Racing Team with Luca Marini and Alessio "Uccio" Salucci. His experience level in GT3 may earn him a car in the LMGTE Am class at a future running of the 24 Hours.

The now former Yamaha racer will undoubtedly count on the advice and support of his friend Fernando Alonso, two-time Le Mans winner with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing. Fernando Alonso: "Of course I would tell him to do it, to try it, because it's an unforgettable experience. You have to prepare well for the race, everything is highly professional and very competitive. It's not just about endurance, there isn't a moment's relaxation. You have to work mentally and there are times you feel yourself waning, but you have to move on and pay attention to eating and resting. It is great fun, but takes a lot of preparation."