MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi is to be made an honorary member of the exclusive British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC), the organisation has announced.
The seven-time premier class champion will be presented his membership by BRDC president Derek Warwick at next weekend’s British round of MotoGP at Silverstone.
“I am very honoured to have been invited to become an Honorary Member of the British Racing Drivers’ Club,” said Rossi.
“I know it's very difficult to become a member of this exclusive club, there are very selective criteria. There is no rider in the BRDC, I will be the first and for this I am even more honoured.”
Warwick added: “Membership of the BRDC is the greatest honour in British motor racing and I speak on behalf of everyone at the Club when I say that we are proud, privileged and honoured that Valentino Rossi has accepted this membership.”
Although certain BRDC members, including vice-president John Surtees, are known for their motorcycle racing exploits well as for their achievements in car racing, Rossi becomes the first to join the club purely by virtue of his success on two wheels.
Four-time 500cc world champion Surtees said: “Valentino is without any doubt one of the greatest motorcycle riders ever in a sport that has played an extremely important part in Silverstone’s history.
“He has a huge number of British fans and will be putting on a fantastic show for the Silverstone crowd on 30 August.”