LONDON (Reuters) - Italian MotoGP great Valentino Rossi has become the first motorcycle rider to be invited to join the exclusive British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) purely on his two-wheeled achievements.
The club, which owns the Silverstone circuit and includes motorcycle and Formula One world champion John Surtees among drivers like Lewis Hamilton and Jackie Stewart, said on Wednesday that Rossi had accepted an honorary membership.
"Valentino is without any doubt one of the greatest motorcycle riders ever in a sport that has played an extremely important part in Silverstone's history," said Surtees, a BRDC vice-president.
Rossi, currently level on points with Yamaha team mate Jorge Lorenzo at the top of the championship, will be competing in the British MotoGP round at Silverstone on Aug 28-30.
Known as 'The Doctor', the Italian has won nine motorcycle grand prix world championships including seven in the top category.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Martyn Herman