Mike Stevens | Jul 1, 2009

MOTOGP STAR Valentino Rossi has dismissed suggestions he could race in a third Ferrari during the 2011 Formula One season, after rumours emerged linking the Yamaha rider with a move away from two wheels.

With Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo recently hinting the Scuderia may consider the possibility of fielding another car in future championships, Rossi fuelled talk he may finally make the switch to F1 by reportedly telling the Italian media he was pleased with the development.

He said: "I am quite happy about (the news) it could happen in 2011 - why not?"

However, Rossi has since moved to hose-down claims he would seriously consider a long awaited move despite having repeatedly tested with Ferrari in the past, claiming he fabricated the rumour "to stimulate the imagination of fans".

"In 2010 I have a contract with Yamaha, so it would be difficult or even impossible. What’s more, Ferrari do not have a third car and I have taken no decision about changing sport," he told AFP.

“I am riding my bike, I am happy at Yamaha and I want to stay concentrated on the championship with the objective of winning another title. All this started when I was quick in some private tests, but it’s one thing to do a good time alone in practice, and another to compete in a race.”


Rossi last tested for Ferrari in December, setting an impressive pace around the Mugello circuit as he came to grips with the F2008 before the onset of rain cut short his session.

While he was unable to threaten Rubens Barrichello's 2004 lap record, the six-time MotoGP champion was able to close in on the times set by Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa, setting a best lap of 1:22.5.

The time, an improvement on his previous best effort by 1.5 seconds, highlighted Rossi's rapid progression on four wheels, but the Italian told ANSA he would require further development to challenge F1's leading drivers.

"The times we did in Fiorano, here and in Valencia have been analysed and with some good hard work and lots of effort I could become a good Formula One driver," Rossi said last year.

"It's difficult to say whether or not I would win, but the potential is definitely there."

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