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Rossi Rubbishes Ferrari Test Claims

Valentino Rossi has poured cold water on mounting speculation about his possible switch to Formula One - and dismissed suggestions he will regularly test for Ferrari next year

After two outings for the Maranello team, Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn claimed recently that the team were setting up a dedicated testing programme for the Italian and that he would run for them at least once a month next year to get himself up to speed.

If those tests proved successful for both Rossi and Ferrari, then Brawn suggested that they would be keen to sign the MotoGP star up for a Formula One race seat.

But Rossi has rubbished Brawn's claims and said he has no intention to test regularly for Ferrari - especially because he is far from settled about whether he wants to switch to F1.

"Next year I'll be racing on the bike and I won't have the time to do all the tests I read about," he said in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport on Friday.

"Let's suppose it's only six of them: it would be almost a full time effort, and it would mean I decided to race in F1, which I haven't.

"If one day this happens, then I would only do it to try to win, and this requires a 100 percent effort, both mentally and time-wise.

"I heard Ross Brawn's words with a smile: maybe for programmes regarding myself it would be nice if I too was informed about them. Instead I don't know anything about that and it's not in my plans."

In fact, Rossi has expressed an element of frustration at the way senior figures in F1 are speaking about him - and hit back at those who have suggested he would struggle to get up to speed on four wheels.

"Everyone talks about me, without me being part of that environment, it's a really strange thing. And I also hear sharp, even nasty opinions about myself.

"(Flavio) Briatore, (Giancarlo) Fisichella, (Jarno) Trulli: maybe they are a bit envious of me, with a will to demonstrate that the F1 world and drivers are better than those of motorbikes. I think the opposite, but then again maybe they're afraid of me.

"By nature I can't think of what will happen in two years' time and start to get ready now. But it's clear that I have to do something, to find new challenges.

"I wouldn't be able to stay five more years at Yamaha and win other championships like this. I'd need to change manufacturer, or class, or maybe start all over again, from Sport Production, to try to redo the same path."

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