Rossi reacts to "mythical" Mount Panorama

Valentino Rossi says it was "an emotion" to face the famous Bathurst circuit in real life for the first time today.

Rossi reacts to "mythical" Mount Panorama
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The MotoGP legend is making his Mount Panorama debut this weekend as part of Team WRT BMW's line-up for the Bathurst 12 Hour.

He cut his first laps of the circuit at speed today after being given a dispensation to run in the Bronze-only Practice 2, despite technically being a Silver-ranked driver.

Rossi then sensationally topped the session with an impressive 2m05.448s right at the flag.

Reacting to his first taste of Mount Panorama, Rossi said it was "an emotion" to make the step from the simulator to the real deal.

“Already before I knew I [was going to] race here, we always played in the sim with Mount Panorama," said Rossi.

“To be here in Mount Panorama after 20 years of [racing in] sims is an emotion, when you see the track for the first time.

“It’s one of the mythical tracks, so from the Playstation to iRacing now, I make a lot of laps.

“The track is very impressive, it’s something different. I feel good with the car, I have a good feeling and I have good grip [and] I can push.

#46 Team WRT, BMW M4 GT3: Valentino Rossi, Augusto Farfus

#46 Team WRT, BMW M4 GT3: Valentino Rossi, Augusto Farfus

Photo by: Bathurst 12H

“It’s very difficult, very technical, but also very great fun when you drive.

“You have two different tracks — it’s a normal track [at the bottom] and the Mountain is different.

“Every lap you want to try and make it a little bit more [speed] but the walls are there. I always keep five centimetres.

“You have to take a bit of margin because if you make a mistake, it’s a big problem.

“Jerry [Burgess] and Gary [Coleman], my guys of the [MotoGP] team raced here in the 1970s and 1980s.

“With the bike you need more space, more run-off area. If you make a mistake it’s a big problem.

“For me it’s better with the cars. I think this track is not so different to Phillip Island [where] you have a lot of space and no walls, but the design is similar.

“Here you have a lot of adrenaline when you drive, but also because you have to make everything good without making any mistakes.

“With the bike you are outside so you feel more the speed. From points of view are different but from points of view is very similar."

The #46 WRT BMW was 12th fastest in a shortened final Friday practice session with Augusto Farfus at the wheel.

The session was cut short due to a frightening crash for MARC V8 driver Keith Kassulke at The Chase.

The veteran has since been cleared of any serious injuries.

Practice for the Bathurst 12 Hour continues at 8:35am local time tomorrow.

Live coverage of the 2023 Bathurst 12 Hour will start on Motorsport.tv from Saturday onwards (not available to viewers in Australia and New Zealand).

#46 Team WRT, BMW M4 GT3: Valentino Rossi, Maxime Martin, Augusto Farfus

#46 Team WRT, BMW M4 GT3: Valentino Rossi, Maxime Martin, Augusto Farfus

Photo by: Bathurst 12H

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