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Bathurst 12 Hour: Rossi beats Schumacher in Practice 2

Valentino Rossi made a sensational debut on the Mount Panorama circuit as he topped the second qualifying session for the Bathurst 12 Hour.

#46 Team WRT, BMW M4 GT3: Valentino Rossi, Maxime Martin, Augusto Farfus

Photo by: Bathurst 12H

The session, limited to Bronze-ranked drivers, got off to an interrupted start, the red flag making its first appearance of the weekend a few minutes in when Keith Kassulke looped the #52 MARC V8 at The Cutting.

Once the session went green it was Brad Schumacher (#55 Schumacher Audi) and Kenny Habul (#75 SunEnergy1 Mercedes) that initially battled it out at the top.

That battle proved to be incredibly tight, Habul's 2m06.135s leading Schumacher's 2m06.139s with a little over 10 minutes to go.

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It was at that point the pair were jumped by Valentino Rossi in the #46 WRT BMW, the MotoGP legend – and Bathurst rookie – having been granted a dispensation for the session despite his Silver driver ranking.

Rossi was still leading when the session was red-flagged again inside the last 10 minutes after Marc Cini hit the wall at The Cutting in the #9 MPC Audi.

When the action resumed Bathurst local Schumacher made his play for top spot, jumping ahead of Rossi with a 2m05.518s right at the flag.

But Rossi was able to respond, the MotoGP legend reclaiming top spot with a 2m05.448s on his final run.

Habul was unable to improve in the closing minutes and had to settle for third ahead of Liam Talbot in the #65 MPC Audi.

Yasser Shahin was fifth fastest in the #777 MPC Audi, one spot clear of GT World Challenge Australia rival Prince Jefri Ibrahim in the #99 Triple Eight Mercedes.

Andrew Fawcett (#10 International Motorsports Audi) and Marcelo Zalloua (#44 Valmont Racing Mercedes) were next while Tony Bates (#24 Volante Rosso Mercedes) and Geoff Emery (#222 Scott Taylor Motorsport Mercedes).

Practice continues with another Bronze-only session at 2pm local time.

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