22 Jan 2010

MotoGP champ shows promising pace in F1 testing

1:33 pm on 22 January 2010

MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi has showed impressive pace in a Formula One car at the end of two days of testing with Ferrari in Barcelona.

The Italian, who had a few spins earlier in the week when the track was wet, completed more than 600 km behind the wheel at the Circuit de Catalunya and finished with a best time of one minute 21.900 seconds.

That compared with this year's fastest race lap of 1:22.762 set by Brazilian Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button's pole position time of 1:20.527.

The 30-year-old had the advantage of a 2008 car on slick tyres and light on fuel but Ferrari insiders were impressed by the Italian's ability to learn and improve his times consistently.

Ferrari have tried to recruit Rossi in the past and team boss Stefano Domenicali said last week he would check on the Italian's availability if they had the chance to race a third F1 car in the future.

Rossi, who has talked more of a future in rallying after MotoGP, told the Ferrari website (www.ferrari.com) he would "have given anything for such a lap time" in his sixth test in a Formula One car.

Brazilian Felipe Massa will take over the car as he continues his recovery from the serious head injuries he suffered in Hungary last year.

Formula One testing in current equipment is banned until February the 1st.