Five-time MotoGP World Champion Mick Doohan will compete at the 2013 Race of Champions in Thailand.
The Australian motorcycling legend, who has 50 Grand Prix wins to his name and won five straight 500cc MotoGP World Championships between 1994 and 1998, will join four-time V8 Supercar champion Jamie Whincup in Team Australia for the ROC Nations Cup.
While a two-wheel legend, Doohan has plenty of four wheel experience, including testing a Williams F1 car at Barcelona in 1998 and has proven his ability at five previous Race of Champions events. At the 2012 Race of Champions, Doohan reached the individual quarter-finals before being knocked out of the running by seven-time Formula 1 World Champion, Michael Schumacher.
“It’s a real privilege to be coming back to the Race Of Champions and to have another chance to team up with Jamie, who lives near me on the Gold Coast,” said Doohan. “Of course it’s tough for a bike racer to come up against so many great drivers but I’ll be determined not to let the side down. I don’t get too much competitive action these days but I have a kart circuit at home and I have a buggy with a 600cc engine so I’ll try to get out on that when I can. The Race Of Champions is friendly off the track but that all evaporates when we’re waiting on the start line so I’d better be prepared…”
The announcement of Doohan adds to the events already glittering driver line-up, which includes big names such as Schumacher, ‘Mr Le Mans’ Tom Kristensen and 2013 FIA World Rally Champion, Sebastien Ogier.
“It’s brilliant to have Mick back in the line-up for the Race Of Champions,” said race organiser Fredrik Johnsson. “He is a true legend of his sport and he has plenty of skill on four wheels too, as last year’s performance proved. After helping Team Australia to the ROC Nations Cup semi-finals, he reached the individual quarter-finals where he was beaten by Michael Schumacher: no shame in that! So there is every reason for the rest of the field to be wary if they come up against this true motor sport great. We hope plenty of Australians and bike fans will make the trip to cheer him on.”