Valentino Rossi’s MotoGP retirement announcement on Friday swept media headlines.
After 26 years, the nine-time world champion will call it a day at the end of the year.
He also mooted the next plan for his career, which includes a switch from two wheels to four wheels.
GT cars seem the most likely option for Rossi. The Italian has previously expressed interest in racing in the Le Mans 24 Hour, and he finished third in a GT3 car at Bahrain earlier this year.
But how about a return to rallying?
In 2006, Rossi came to New Zealand to compete in our round of the World Rally Championship.
Steering a Prodrive-prepared Subaru Impreza in the three-day Hamilton event, Rossi finished an impressive 11th overall.
It was his debut in a fully-fledged WRC car and his first return to rallying since competing in the 2002 Rally GB.
Rossi’s best stage result was seventh in the Mystery Creek’ super special’ stage, and he managed three other top ten stage finishes on the final day.
He ended the rally just 18 seconds out of a top ten overall result.
“I wanted to finish the rally and, at the same time, enjoy myself,” he said.
To date, it is Rossi’s sole appearance racing competitively in New Zealand.
But once the current MotoGP season ends, Rossi will have plenty of spare time.
So, how about another crack at rallying down under? Be that at Jack’s Ridge or when New Zealand returns to the WRC calendar?