Valentino Rossi impresses in Ferrari F1 test

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Rain and fog couldn’t prevent Valentino Rossi from showing his prowess on four wheels as the Italian bike legend ended a two-day test session in a 2008 Ferrari F1 car thrilled with his pace.

Rossi, who is aiming to win an eighth MotoGP world title in 2010, finished his sixth test behind the wheel of a Ferrari F1 car at the Catalunya circuit in Spain with a best time of 1.21.900.

Rossi set his best time on his penultimate lap of the test, which was arranged by Ferrari as a gift for the Fiat Yamaha rider notching his ninth world title on two wheels last season.

The 30-year-old, who won six races in the 2009 MotoGP world championship, said: “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.”

Comparing his last Ferrari experience in Mugello at the end of 2008, Rossi added: “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 and you’re braking much later.

“I want to thank Ferrari, but especially Domenicali and Montezemolo, for giving me this present.”

Ferrari’s Luca Baldisserri praised Rossi’s latest performance and said: “We tried different set ups and he improved a lot. This means that the driver learns quickly and has room for improvement.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt