Rossi Tipped for Success in F1

Valentino Rossi has been tipped to make a success of a switch to Formula One, if he eventually decides to turn his back on motor cycle racing

That is the view of two leading figures who have seen the Italian's bike exploits at close hands and know what is needed to become a winner in Formula One.

Michelin's motorsport boss Pierre Dupasquier and former bike and F1 champion John Surtees both believe that Rossi has what it takes to triumph on four wheels.

Speaking in Gazzetta dello Sport, Dupasquier said: "Valentino? I'd go on a vacation with him! He's a really funny guy and a great champion.

"His strength is to annihilate his rivals and to be able to extract 100% from the bike and the team. On top of that he's precious for the engineers because he has a great ability at memorising.

"He's able to remember the code of a tyre he used four or five years earlier and, even after a long set of laps, he can convey every significant detail.

"I think motor cycling is more similar to rallying, as the reaction times are less brutal. But if there's a rider in the world able to go fast in F1 then that's Rossi.

"With Ferrari he's done a really good job, he showed he's made of the right stuff . Obviously it's hard to leave a series where you dominate to go to one where difficult times await you. Because one thing is for sure: to build a winning pairing is a long process."

Surtees, the only man so far to have won titles in both motorbikes and Formula One, told Motor Cycle News: "He's got that ability to relate to machines and what better team to drive for than Ferrari? A transfer shouldn't be so very difficult.

"I understand he's signed another contract for another year in motorcycles, so he's not moving into cars yet. I have talked to him and I would question yet as to whether or not the decision to go into cars is firm. I think we will have to wait.

"Good luck to him. As long as he changes for the right reason. If he does, it will be motor cycling's loss."

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