BAR invites bike star Rossi to test

Motorbike superstar Valentino Rossi has an open invitation to test a Formula 1 car with British American Racing

BAR invites bike star Rossi to test

The Italian, who has claimed this year's MotoGP world championship with 10 wins out of 12 races, rides for Honda, the manufacturer that powers BAR in F1.

Team boss David Richards said: "He is more than welcome whenever he wishes."

And Rossi has responded to the opportunity with delight. "It's great. I can't wait," he said.

Richards' invitation follows comments from F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, who has suggested Rossi should be a target for every team on the grid, largely because his character would be a boost for the sport.

"It's true that teams and sponsors manipulate the image of drivers and flatten them out, controlling too much," Ecclestone said in this week's Motorsport News. "So characters don't emerge. Where's a Piquet?

"So we need someone like Valentino Rossi. I've met him - fantastic. Unfortunately I don't have a team, or I'd get him on board straightaway."

The only man to win world championships on two and four wheels, John Surtees, reckons Rossi would be able to make the switch to cars successfully. "Valentino is gifted," said the 1964 F1 champion. "It would be the right time for him to move to F1. I think he is able to repeat my successes."

Along with F1, Rossi is a big fan of rally and took part in last year's Race of Champions event. He is also planning to compete in the Rally Great Britain in November and is lining up a drive in a Peugeot 206 WRC.

"Rallying is my passion," he said. "It is not yet 100 percent sure that I will take part, but we are on a good way. This will be very exciting."

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