MotoGP: Rossi Fit to Race F1 Alonso
Ferrari & Ducati News
Although Valentino Rossi continues to recover from shoulder surgery, the nine-time World Champion will have some fun at the fourth annual Wroom Ferrari & Ducati Press Ski Meeting in the Dolomites, Italy.
Rossi, who signed with the Ducati Team after seven years of MotoGP racing with Yamaha, will not partake in any events like snowboarding, but will compete against double F1 World Champion Fernando Alonso in four-wheel ice races.
Besides taking on Alonso, Rossi will also speak for the first time publicly for Ducati, and the 2011 Ducati Team livery will be unveiled. But it’s the pride of Rossi that’s the news here, due to the rivalry between the two MotoGP and F1 stars.
Alonso has questioned Rossi’s ability in the past. After Rossi participated in Ferrari F1 tests in 2006, Alonso said the Ducati MotoGP racer would likely finish higher than fifth if he raced. But he then went on to say that he could win a MotoGP race if he was given enough time to practice.
This created a showdown between the Italian and Spanish stars, which will likely create some rivalry at the Wroom Ferrari & Ducati meeting in the Dolomites. Rossi and Alonso will go head-to-head on the ice, most likely racing Fiat 4X4 Pandas and go-karts, similar to the 2010 Wroom event.
The 31-year-old Rossi now joins American Nicky Hayden on the Ducati Team; they reportedly get on well together based on their teammate experience from the Repsol Honda days back in 2003. Rossi won the championship that year, and Hayden, during his debut MotoGP year, finished fifth.
As for Fiat Yamaha, 2010 World Champion Jorge Lorenzo is staying with the team. Joining him will be American Ben Spies, who under MotoGP rules had to compete on a satellite team for one year before he could land a ride with a factory team such as Fiat Yamaha.
Spies has shown much progress on the satellite team, Monster Tech 3 Yamaha, as he raced alongside fellow Texan Colin Edwards for 2010. Joining Edwards on the Yamaha satellite team for 2011 will be MotoGP rookie but highly-rated Brit Cal Crutchlow, who carded several race wins in 2010 aboard the Sterilgarda Yamaha World Superbike race team. VR 46 takes Casey Stoner’s place at Ducati, as the Australian MotoGP racer becomes a third Repsol Honda factory rider alongside Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa for 2011.
In 2010, Rossi returned to racing at Sachsenring after recovering from a broken leg that he sustained at Round 4 in Mugello. Rossi missed that round, and the subsequent three.
Rossi finished the season a creditable third overall, behind Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa and his former teammate Lorenzo.