First Valentino Rossi, now Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa are moving into four-wheel racing after dropping out of two wheels.


Former MotoGP stars line up for four wheels

There is a strong connection between racing cars and racing bikes and it is not a new phenomenon. In fact, it’s been around longer than Formula 1 or the World Motorcycle Grand Prix Championship (now MotoGP) has existed.

Before the war, Tazio Nuvolari was as well known for his exploits in two-wheeled racing as he was for his bravery in a racing car. Bernd Rosemeyer raced motorcycles before turning to cars and racing the mighty Auto Unions.

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After the creation of the motorcycle world championship in 1949, many riders tried their hand at car racing. Geoff Duke gave it a try and John Surtees became the only man to win the two-wheel and four-wheel world championships – the two-wheel championships came first.

Gary Hocking lost his life shortly after retiring from motorcycle racing and turning to four wheels, ironically because he thought racing bikes were too dangerous. Mike Hailwood had two motor racing stabs, in the early 1960s and then in the late 1960s and early 1970s after his two-wheeled career fell through thanks to Honda’s withdrawal from racing. He was good too, until an accident at the Nurburgring in 1974 ended his career.

Even in the 1980s Barry Sheene and his winger Steve Parrish competed successfully in truck racing in Europe which resulted in 11 UK and European Championships for Parrish up to 1996. Sheene also competed in the UK Championship passenger cars.

Drivers turning to cars these days are few and far between. but maybe. All of that will soon change. Valentino Rossi has combined two and four wheels for many years, winning on both. Now retired from MotoGP, he announces a new career on four wheels. In 2022, he will race in the GT World Challenge Europe GT3 series with WRT in 2022, driving an Audi R8.

Three-time MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo has also said he is considering a racing career in the same series as Rossi. Their on-track rivalry on motorcycles has never been the friendliest, so it would be interesting to see if they can hold their own in the car!

To add to the story, Dani Pedrosa, the driver who has won most Grands Prix without winning a Premier Class title, also threw his hat in the ring, saying he will be racing a Lamborghini Super Trofeo, which is a support class for the Rossi will participate in the race. All we need now is Casey Stoner to announce his racing career and it will be all the retired titleholders of the 21st century on four wheels.

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