Rossi is world's 5th highest paid motorsport competitor

Seven-time former MotoGP champion is still the world’s highest paid bike racer

VALENTINO Rossi is the only motorcycle racer to make the Forbes top ten list for the highest paid motorsport competitors.

Rossi earned $22 million in a year, ahead of F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel, on $18 million.

Rossi was fifth on the new Forbes list, also above F1 star Jenson Button, who earned $14 million.

But seven-time former MotoGP champion Rossi was behind Lewis Hamilton, who was in second place with $27.5million.

First place also went to an F1 star, Fernado Alonso, on $30 million.

Rossi took a pay cut to return to Yamaha in 2013 after two disappointing years with Ducati, finishing seventh and sixth in the championships.

He won his 80th MotoGP at Assen this year. His last title win was in 2009. The Italian is fourth in the 2013 championship standings.

Forbes looked at earnings in the 12 months to June this year. The top ten motorsport competitors are below.

Hands up who thinks they’re in the wrong business.

1. Fernando Alonso, F1. Total earnings $30m (salary/winnnings $28m; endorsements $2m)
2. Lewis Hamilton, F1. Total earnings $27.5m (salary/winnnings $26m; endorsements $1.5m)
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr, NASCAR. Total earnings $26m (salary/winnnings $13m; endorsements $13m)
4. Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR. Total earnings $24m (salary/winnnings $17.3m; endorsements $6.7m)
5. Valentino Rossi, MotoGP. Total earnings $22m (salary/winnnings $12m; endorsements $10m)
6. Tony Stewart, NASCAR. Total earnings $18.5m (salary/winnnings $12.5m; endorsements $6m)
7. Jeff Gordon, NASCAR. Total earnings $18.2m (salary/winnnings $12.7m; endorsements $5.5m)
8. Sebastian Vettel, F1. Total earmings $18m (salary/winnnings $17m; endorsements $1m)
9. Danica Patrick, NASCAR. Total earnings $15m (salary/winnnings $6m; endorsements $9m)
10. Jenson Button, F1. Total earnings $14m (salary/winnnings $14m)