After his dismal results during the Qatar GP, this weekend Valentino Rossi has decided to switch to four wheels and take part in the Blancpain Endurance Series at Monza.
Driving a Kessel Racing #46 Ferrari 458 Italia, Rossi and BFF Alessio ‘Uccio’ Salucci yesterday qualified 10th on the grid with a best lap of 1:48.962 (Daniel Zampieri set the fastest time overall in 1:47.923 on Kessel Racing’s Ferrari) ahead of Sunday’s race.
If anyone expects that Rossi will turn to World Superbikes in the future, as he hinted at in March 2011 -“In a few years, when I’m older, I could even race in Superbikes with Ducati - the former World Champion seems to have changed his mind, again.
“In the future if I want to go racing it is better for me in a car than on a bike. I have done rallying but it is more about controlling the car on the slide on the gravel. In GT racing it is about racing lines, breaking and rhythm and I enjoy it a lot. I enjoy sprint races because I have more experience in that but the Blancpain is just right for me at three hours. It is between a sprint race and an endurance race. The field of cars is impressive and the driver line-up very strong. Being in the top 10 in qualifying is a great result and being under 1:49 is a good lap time at Monza. Tomorrow it will be important to get the rhythm – one lap is one lap but three hours is very different,” said Rossi.
The three-hour endurance race starts today at 13:15 GMT.