Nine-time motorbike champion and Italian motorsport legend Valentino Rossi was helped to his first championship race win on four wheels today with P Zero tyres from Pirelli: exclusive supplier to the GT World Challenge.

However, his victory at the Misano Sprint Cup round is not the first time that Rossi has won in a car with Pirelli – as he is also a  seven-time winner of the Monza Rally, where he has driven a number of Pirelli-equipped rally cars to success.

This time, the 44-year-old was at the wheel of a BMW M4 GT3 equipped with Pirelli’s latest P Zero DHF tyres, at the tight and twisty Misano circuit near the Adriatic sea in northern Italy: round five of the GT World Challenge Europe.

These tyres are designed to work effectively across a number of different car brands and vehicle architectures, providing exactly the right compromise between durability and performance. The lessons learned on the race track are then handed down to Pirelli’s ultra high performance P Zero tyres for the road.

Rossi won the second hour-long sprint race of the weekend alongside his WRT team mate Maxime Martin, who had started from third on the grid. The team took advantage of a safety car and a rapid pit stop to bring Rossi back out into the lead, with the Italian managing his tyres perfectly in the very hot conditions to hold off a chasing Audi and win by just over four seconds.

On Saturday, Raffaele Marciello and Timur Boguslavskiy claimed the Race 1 win for Mercedes, while Dries Vanthoor claimed pole for Race 2 on Sunday in another WRT BMW.

Pirelli’s circuit activity manager Matteo Braga said: “Congratulations to Valentino for this fantastic victory in the Pro class. The P Zero DHF tyres played their part today on an extremely tight and demanding circuit, with more than 50 degrees of track temperature and an extremely rapid pace. Despite these demanding conditions, the drivers were able to attack from start to finish, with many setting their fastest times at the end of the stint. Valentino’s talent, coupled with the low degradation of the P Zero compound and the professionalism of his team, culminated in a well-deserved win – adding to his incredible record of achievement throughout so many different branches of motorsport.”