• Jan 29, 2010
MotoGP racing star Valentino Rossi has ventured from two wheels to four a few times in the past, and he's always come away smiling when given the chance to strut his stuff on a Formula One track. This latest testing session, though, has left many highly impressed and others understandably worried.

Various reports have put Yamaha's star rider into the Ducati paddock come 2011 or so, but after registering times around the Mugello circuit in an F2008 racer that were just two-tenths of a second behind Kimi Raikkonen's outright lap record of 1:21.67 (set in the same car, for what it's worth), Yamaha team manager Davide Brivio said, "The greatest danger is Ferrari... I have to be worried about these excellent times because Valentino really could get the desire to change sport."

For its part, Ferrari seems very pleased with Rossi's excellent performance, and the Italian supercar manufacturer saw fit to send out a nice press release on the matter that you'll find after the break. Kudos, Valentino... and good luck!

[Sources: Autocar, The New York Times]
Show full PR text
Montmelò, 21 January 2010 – At the end of the two days of the test sessions with Valentino Rossi on the Montmelò circuit, he had more than 600 kilometers on the clock. After today's wet opening, just like yesterday, which complicated the start, the test dedicated to the Champion from Tavullia with the F2008, provided by Maranello's F1 Clienti department, was concluded with great results to the utmost satisfaction of the team.

Valentino was extremely happy with his lap time of 1.21.900, clocked on the penultimate lap, almost over the time limit the team was allowed to use the Catalan track: "We kept the last three quarters of an hour to try a 'time attack' with little petrol and fresh tyres. I would have given anything for such a lap time." Rossi said that he had much more fun compared to his last experience in Mugello in November 2008. "It's more fun here, because it's a little bit easier. It's more effort in Mugello, but this track here is really wonderful, with motorbikes and cars, although I have to say that turn 10 is a little tight (the one with the spins) and you're braking much later."

Luca Baldisserri commented on the "Doctor's" adventure positively: "We tried different set ups and he improved a lot: this means that the driver learns quickly and has room for improvement." Before Valentino left the track he wanted to thank the whole team: "I want to thank Ferrari, but especially Domenicali and Montezemolo, for giving me this present."


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  • 23 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      The guy is an animal
        • 4 Years Ago
        This guy is the sh-t! He is so talented and entertaing to watch and has sense of humor on top of it. I'd give anything to see him either go to Ducati or Ferrari at this point in his career. Italy would literally go into orbit!
      • 4 Years Ago
      You could put Vale on a tricycle and he would still find a way to beat everyone. I think he makes the move, he has very little left to prove on 2 wheels. Vale is already one of the most famous people in the world Louis, and certainly doesn't need the highbrow atmosphere of F1 to be any more famous. I stopped caring about F1 a decade ago, Valentino would bring me, and millions of others back.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Sure he is famous, but F1 will offer much more global audience.
        Not all countries are big for the motorcycles :)

        His a talent no doubt, but like Franz said Raikkonen made the time with grooved tires and race fuel and you can start adding the time for Rossis time there.

      • 4 Years Ago
      The lap time was impressive for an F1 rookie no doubt, but let's remember that Kimi Raikkonen set that lap time on the old grooved tires with race fuel, while Rossi ran with low fuel & on slicks. Felipe Massa, returning from his head injury managed a time that was 2.5 seconds quicker than Rossi in the same car within a few days, so that's a more accurate comparison.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Bingo!!
        Those are GP2 slicks.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Above AutoBlog states that he's two tenths slower in the same car. Is this incorrect?
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's the same car, but like I said Kimi did his run (the one they're comparing Rossi to) on the then current spec grooved tires and on race fuel, while Rossi's times were done with little fuel on board, and with slick tires. Massa ran the same car in the same configuration as Rossi and was 2.5 sec quicker. That's the more accurate comparison.
      • 4 Years Ago
      He should hook up with USF1 ! that would be sweet to watch! He is talented and I agree with the point made that the car was better and probly lighter to, but still factoring how fast he was first time out he could only get faster!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hey Ashish, got bike?

      The guy rides bike and with no competitive F1 race history under his belt, he's a contender. I bet if they invested the time, he'd see podium sooner than you'd think!

      I love both cars and bikes, but the bike has only recently started to be dumbed down by driving aids. It still takes a level of skill to ride a bike. Hemingway stated “Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports ... all others are games.”. Above that (auto racing, that is..) should be MotoGP
      • 4 Years Ago
      Are the GP2 slicks as good as F1 grooved tires?
      • 4 Years Ago
      The rumor that Rossi is coming to F1 comes EVERY SINGLE YEAR. This is seriously nothing new.
      • 4 Years Ago
      yes he is unreal to watch, smooth and fast as all get out. Id hate to see him leave motogp for F1 but hey money is money. I do think he wants 10 championships before he chooses to drop motogp.
      • 4 Years Ago
      They need to put this guy in a F22 jet and see what he can do in that machine.
      • 4 Years Ago
      he shouldn't have too worry about much side by side racing in f1 where besides the start there isn't much much passing in F1. if he has a general knowledge on side by side racing which he does since hes in motoGP then he should be good for the transfer. its al about speed stratigy and good starts and if him and his team can master all 3 then he should have a solid debut in f1 (assuming he makes the jump)
      • 4 Years Ago
      Vale! Faster and faster...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Rossi's time was good, no doubt, but that time was wiped clean by the regular driver Felipe Massa the next week. Massa was about 2.5s quicker. This is nothing but PR. Rossi is a talent, but not sure this means he is quick in F1.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I very much doubt it is just PR, considering the fact that when Ferrari were looking for a replacement for Massa last year, they approached Rossi before Fisichella...

        Ferrari seem to rate him very highly, and they would not employ him simply for PR, because neither Ferrari or Rossi would want this.
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