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Rossi tops Bathurst 12 Hour practice on debut

VALENTINO Rossi has topped his first session on track at Mount Panorama by setting the fastest time in Practice 2 at the Bathurst 12 Hour.

The Italian multiple MotoGP world champion pipped local boy Brad Schumacher by 0.0696-seconds on his final lap of a 40-minute session interrupted twice by red flags.

While Practice 2 and 3 are slated for Bronze category drivers, Rossi was given permission to take part in the session despite being a Silver category driver given his inexperience around the circuit.

UNDER THREAT: Bathurst lap records on the chopping block

ENTRY LIST: Every car and driver in the 2023 Bathurst 12 Hour

SCHEDULE: Bathurst 12 Hour track schedule for every category

Working quickly down from his first flying lap of a 2m12.9653, Rossi quickly got down into the ‘eights’ and ‘sevens’ before running consistent ‘sixes’ by the middle of the session to sit just half a second off the frontrunning pace.

Reigning race winner Kenny Habul led the timesheets in the early stages of the session before the top spot was taken by first Rossi then Schumacher, with the BMW pilot edging ahead with his final lap of the session.

Habul’s best remained good enough for third ahead of Liam Talbot, whose #65 Audi topped the opening session in Chaz Mostert’s hands, with Yasser Shahin fifth in the #777 Audi.

The session was halted by red flags on two occasions.

Keith Kassulke brought the session to a stop in the opening five minutes after spinning the #52 MARC entry on the approach to the Cutting, resuming without damage.

Marc Cini was less lucky later in the session, hitting the wall on the exit of the Cutting in the #9 Audi to bring the red flags out again in the 29th minute of the session.

Although he drove the car back to the pits, the damage has the car in doubt for the third session.

Practice 3 for the 2023 Bathurst 12 Hour, which will again feature Rossi and Bronze drivers only, will get underway at 2pm AEDT.

RESULTS: Practice 2, 2023 Bathurst 12 Hour (40 min)

PosNo.Driver/sClassCarTime
146RossiProBMW2m04.0879s
255SchumacherPro-AmAudi+0.0696s
375HabulProMercedes-AMG+0.6864s
465TalbotPro-AmAudi+0.8045s
5777ShahinPro-AmAudi+1.872s
699IbrahimPro-AmMercedes-AMG+3.4821s
710FawcettSilverAudi+3.941s
844Pires / ZallouaSilverMercedes-AMG+4.0127s
924BatesPro-AmMercedes-AMG+4.0204s
10222EmeryPro-AmMercedes Benz+4.2244s
119CiniPro-AmAudi+4.5787s
1247J Koundouris / T KoundourisSilverAudi+4.9071s
134S GrovePro-AmPorsche +5.2253s
146Deitz / DenyerSilverLamborghini+5.2666s
15101PoulakisSilverMercedes-AMG+5.5498s
1652KassulkeInvitationalMARC+7.0241s
17111DonaldsonInvitationalMARC+9.1534s
1819GriffithInvitationalMercedes Benz+11.3174s
1966WoodmanInvitationalSIN+11.7721s
2050CramptonInvitationalKTM+12.0665s
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