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Rossi on impressive form for Ferrari 22 Jan 2010

Valentino Rossi, Circuit de Catalunya, Spain, 21 January 2010 Valentino Rossi and the Ferrari team, Circuit de Catalunya, Spain, 21 January 2010 Valentino Rossi in the Ferrari F2008, Circuit de Catalunya, Spain, 20 January 2010.

While his multiple MotoGP titles are testament to his supreme pace on two wheels, on Thursday Valentino Rossi demonstrated he’s no slouch in a Formula One car either, as his Ferrari test at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya drew to a close. Rossi has been in action for two days at the Spanish track in a 2008-spec car as a reward for winning his seventh championship last year.

The 30 year-old, who last tested for the Italian team at their test circuit at Mugello in November 2008, clocked a best lap of 1m 21.900s towards the end of the day’s running. With his time just over two tenths down on Kimi Raikkonen’s 2008 lap record of 1m 21.670s, Rossi was delighted with his pace.

“We kept the last three quarters of an hour to try a ‘time attack’, with little petrol and fresh tyres,” he told Ferrari’s official website. “I would have given anything for such a lap time. 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.”

Ferrari’s team manager, Luca Baldisserri, was equally pleased with Rossi’s performance, saying: “We tried different set ups and he improved a lot - this means that the driver learns quickly and has room for improvement.”

Although Rossi’s two days in the car are now over, Ferrari’s private test will continue at the Catalunya track on Friday. 2010 driver Felipe Massa will be in action for a single day in the F2008, as he adjusts to life back behind the wheel of a Formula One car following his accident at last year’s Hungarian Grand Prix.