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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
There should be an entire section for Rossi and F1!



Rossi matches F1 regulars! (crash.net)


MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi put his opening day Valencia embarrassment well and truly behind him with a solid second day for Ferrari - during which he set the 9th best lap time out of the 15 drivers present!

The test marks Rossi's fourth outing in a Ferrari Formula One car, but is his first 'real' test - with other teams and drivers on track at the same time - after previous private test sessions held at Fiorano and Mugello.

However, Rossi was left red faced on Tuesday when his rain delayed Valencia debut, on wet weather tyres and in front of most of the F1 paddock, ended within half a lap after the Italian superstar spun and stalled his F2004.

But it was arguably the regular F1 drivers who were left red faced on Wednesday when the #46 set a best lap time of 1min 12.851secs from 53 laps - placing the seven times motorcycling world champion just 1.622secs from fastest man, and reigning F1 world champion, Fernando Alonso of Renault.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
By Alan Baldwin



LONDON, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Motorcycling world champion Valentino Rossi made critics eat their words on Wednesday with a strong performance for Ferrari in testing.

The charismatic Italian, driving an old F2004 with a rev-limited V10 engine, completed 53 laps at the Valencia circuit in eastern Spain and was ninth fastest of the 15 drivers in action.

The dominant force in MotoGP had a best lap of 1:12.851, according to Ferrari.

That was little more than a second slower than Ferrari's seven times world champion Michael Schumacher in the new V8-powered 248 car. World champion Fernando Alonso was fastest in 1:11.291.

"It was a very good performance, we cannot deny it," said a Ferrari spokesman. "People who said that yesterday was a flop, today changed their mind."

Rossi spun off on his opening lap on Tuesday after being sidelined for most of the day by steady rain. Conditions on Wednesday were damp in the morning but dry in the afternoon.

The Italian's spin drew a sarcastic response from old MotoGP foe and compatriot Max Biaggi, who tested with Midland last month at a wet Silverstone.

"This time I beat him," commented Biaggi, who has left MotoGP after losing his Honda ride, in the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.

"I did 10 laps on a wet track at Silverstone, a real track I had never seen before, while he didn't even get to the 10th corner in Valencia...I could explain to him how not to spin a Formula One car."

While Biaggi's run may have been more for publicity purposes, Rossi has a real chance of making the jump from two wheels to four with Ferrari.

The 26-year-old, champion for the last five years in motorcycling's top category and with a year to run on his Yamaha contract, has had several increasingly serious tests since his first in 2004.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Rossi's disastrous debut - 01 February 2006



If you read and believe Ferrari's press release, multiple MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi did only one lap at the Valencia group test on Tuesday because it rained.

But that's only half the story. In fact, the 26-year-old Italian - on his first flier - slid off a curve with wet tyres, and beached his 2004 car in the gravel.

'The track was very wet,' team spokesman Luca Colajanni explained. 'He just spun off.'

Rossi will try again on Wednesday.

His slippery first of three days in Spain followed the friendly welcome of countryman and Toyota racer Jarno Trulli, who wrote an open letter to Rossi that was published in La Gazzetta dello Sport.

In a transcript translated from Italian, Trulli wrote: 'I really did not expect that you would want to compare yourself against us yet.

'Since I am a few years older than you, allow me to give you some advice - don't look at the stop watch, be calm, try to learn how the car behaves as the fuel goes down, as the tyres wear, how a strategy would play out.

'Hats off to your courage.'

McLaren, Williams and Red Bull were also in action, with Honda pair Rubens Barrichello and Anthony Davidson setting the fastest times.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Rossi ninth quickest
Sportal



Seven-time world motorcycling champion Valentino Rossi has bounced back from his shaky start to Formula One testing to record the ninth fastest time in Valencia.

Rossi slid off the track on his first day of testing, but there were no such issues for the Italian the second time around as he completed 52 laps. However, Rossi did spin three times on the day.

The Italian, who turns 27 in a fortnight's time, managed a best lap time of 1min 12.856sec to beat the likes of David Coulthard and Jarno Trulli.

Rossi has been linked to a move to Formula One in 2007 after dominating the Moto GP circuit in recent years.



World champion Fernando Alonso was quickest in testing at the Cheste circuit, setting a lap record of 1min 11.229sec. Michael Schumacher was second fastest ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya and Jenson Button. Mark Webber was 12th.

Test Times:
1. F. Alonso - Renault R26 - 1.11:229 (+0:000) - 47 laps
2. M. Schumacher - Ferrari F2004/248 F1 - 1.11:821 (+0:592) - 73 laps
3. J.P. Montoya - McLaren Mercedes MP4/21 - 1.11:978 (+0:749) - 68 laps
4. J. Button - Honda RA106 - 1.11:998 (+0:769) - 85 laps
5. R. Barrichello - Honda RA106 -1.12:063 (+0:834) - 115 laps
6. J. Villeneuve - BMW Sauber F1.06 - 1.12:628 (+ 1:399) - 72 laps
7. R. Zonta - Toyota TF106 - 1.12:668 (+ 1:439) - 78 laps
8. V. Rossi - Ferrari F2004 V10 - 1.12:863 (+ 1:634) - 49 laps
9. D. Coulthard - Red Bull Ferrari RB2 - 1.12:891 (+ 1:662) - 37 laps
10. A. Wurz - Williams Cosworth FW27C - 1.12:930 (+ 1:701) - 83 laps
11. G. Paffett - McLaren Mercedes MP4/20 V10 - 1.12:937 (+ 1:708) - 115 laps
12. M. Webber - Williams Cosworth FW28 - 1.13:021 (+ 1:792) - 72 laps
13. J. Trulli - Toyota TF106 - 1.13:075 (+ 1:846) - 108 laps
14. R. Kubica - BMW Sauber C24B - 1.13:472 (+ 2:243) - 64 laps
15. H. Kovalainen - Renault R26 - 1.13:679 (+ 2:450) - 26 laps
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Valencia: Rossi spins, Honda wins
Wednesday February 01 2006




Honda dominated the proceedings at Valencia on Tuesday with Rubens Barrichello and Anthony Davidson setting the pace. However, it was MotoGP Champion Valentino Rossi who stole the headlines.
Overnight rain and cold track temperatures in Valencia meant that the nine drivers present had to contend with a very wet track in the morning although they were able to run on intermediate tyres in the afternoon as the track dried out.

Barrichello was fastest, posting a 1:19.359 during his 59 laps to beat Davidson to the P1 slot by 0.637 seconds.

Michael Schumacher was third fastest, and the only driver aside from Davidson to get within a second of Barrichello's P1 time.

Kimi Raikkonen was next in line although due to the wet weather conditions he only completed systems work.

This did, however, give the team the opportunity to run activities such as wet launches and fuel systems checks, the latter of which was why Raikkonen had a planned stoppage on track during the morning session.

Williams driver Mark Webber was fifth fastest, clocking a 1:22.388, which put him 1.548 seconds ahead of his team-mate Nico Rosberg. Rosberg was down in eighth place.

However, technical director Sam Michael was nonetheless happy with the day's performances.

"Considering the circuit was wet throughout the day, we completed a good programme on both the FW28 and FW27C," he said.

"Even with its tight packaging around the exhaust and cooling systems, the FW28 has not experienced any issues with burning or cooling, which is great.

"Mark drove the FW28 and completed 340kms on wet tyres with some long runs to check heat rejection numbers for the new car.

"Nico drove the FW27C and completed 316kms undergoing wet tyre testing for Bridgestone. It was evident from the lap times during the day that Bridgestone have an advantage in wet conditions.

"We should get some dry weather running tomorrow (Wednesday) which will allow us to continue our programme."

Red Bull Racing's Christian Klien and McLaren tester Gary Paffett slotted between the two Williams drivers in sixth and seventh places respectively.

Meanwhile Valentino Rossi was in Valencia for the first day of his three-day test with Ferrari. But it didn't exactly go according to plan.

Firstly the weather meant that the Italian was forced to wait until the end of the day's play to get out on track. And when he did - he spun.

Testing continues on Wednesday.

Times
01 R. Barrichello Honda 1:19.359 59 laps
02 A. Davidson Honda 1:19.996 63 laps
03 M. Schumacher Ferrari 1:20.358 87 laps
04 K. Räikkönen McLaren 1:21.194 24 laps
05 M. Webber Williams 1:22.388 77 laps
06 C. Klien Red Bull 1:22.599 42 laps
07 G. Paffett McLaren 1:23.836 42 laps
08 N. Rosberg Williams 1:23.936 75 laps
09 V. Rossi Ferrari 0:00.00 0 laps
 

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Discussion Starter #6


Valentino Rossi in full F1 test next week
Posted Jan 28th 2006 3:00PM by Stuart Waterman
Filed under: Motorsports

Valentino Rossi's Formula 1 career takes another step forward next week, when the 26 year-old MotoGP champion will join the Ferrari F1 team in Valencia, Spain for an open, three-day test with other Formula 1 teams.

Rossi (shown at right with Michael Schumacher) has previously driven a Ferrari F1 car in closed tests at Ferrari's private Fiorano circuit, but this will be his first time on an international track with a field of F1 regulars. Mark Webber, lead driver for Williams F1, will be at the test session and told reporters, "He's quite brave, really, to come in and share the circuit with the rest of us. The guy has obviously got unbelievable talent, we know that, and he definitely knows which way is up. But to throw him out there on the track with the rest of us...who knows..."

Rossi will be driving an F2004, while Ferrari regulars Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa will test the new F248.

For Ferrari to invest time and effort in Rossi at this critical time of the year, as the team readies for the season opener in March, is a good indication of how seriously the team is considering developing Rossi into a Formula 1 driver. It should be interesting to watch.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Rossi's third day -- 12th position and a few spin-outs

Testing, Valencia Feb 2nd.



Thursday at Valencia saw the 'usual suspects' setting the top times as winter pace-setters Renault and Honda took the first two places once again.

An incident-filled day ended with a flurry of low-fuel runs during which Fernando Alonso edged the R26 to the top of the timesheet with a 1:10.904s, just three thousandths faster than Jenson Button in the Honda R106.

Buttons time came during further long-distance running by the Japanese squad, with his run curtailed by a rare Honda engine blow up. Anthony Davidson continues to impress with a fine fourth fastest, and a massive 128 laps completed during the day.

All eyes were again focused on the novelty that is Valentino Rossi, today joining Felipe Massa in further running with the V8 engine Ferrari F2004.

Massa posted third fastest time, also in the F2004, with a solid and uneventful days work, but Rossi began to show his lack of experience, suffering no fewer than five spins on the way to 12th position. He declared himself satisfied, and added that it had been "a wonderful opportunity."

Michael Schumacher, in the F248, ended the day in fifth place.

Christian Klien returned to the cockpit for Red Bull Racing, and provided the teams most promising showing of the year so far with a time just shy of Schumachers Ferrari.

Heikki Kovalainen, whose stoppage on the main straight shortly before the end of the day prompted the mass rush for 'qualifying' times, put the second Renault in seventh position.

Jacques Villeneuve's running was hindered by a trip through the gravel trap courtesy of an incident that also involved Rossi and Pedro de la Rosa, but still managed eighth fastest and over 100 laps of running in another productive day for BMW-Sauber. Robert Kubica continued development work in last years car.

Toyota continued as they left off yesterday, with Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli reeling off the laps to ninth and 15th positions, while Williams had another troubled day.

In an effort to perfect the 'seamless shift' gearbox technology, Alex Wurz (in the FW27) and Nico Rosberg in the FW28 endured several mechanical failures, and between them caused a number of red flag incidents. They finished tenth and 11th at the end of the days running.

Mclaren-Mercedes' woeful 2006 testing sequence continued today, with de la Rosa setting 13th fastest time and Juan Pablo Montoya (driving the MP4-21) 14th after another Mercedes engine failure put paid to half of the days running.

Despite the trouble experienced by a number of teams, it is worth noting that the difference between Alonso's fastest time, set with a light fuel load, and the slowest '06 specification car (Trulli's Toyota) is only one and a half seconds, indicating that,on current evidence, the new machines could be very closely matched.

Tomorrow sees the launch of the MF1 Racing M16, the much-awaited replacement for the teams old Jordan EF15 of last season. UpdateF1 will carry a full report.

Written: Thu, 02 Feb 2006 17:51:45
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Day three, times

ALONSO LEADS THE WAY IN TESTING
Last Updated: Thursday, 02, February, 2006, 18:17


Fernando Alonso set the pace in an intriguing day of testing at Valencia on Thursday as the 2006 form guide begins to take shape.

The world champion set his best lap of 1m10.904s in the dying moments of the afternoon, when he was joined by several other teams in attempting a qualifying run.

But the Renault star was only just quicker than British ace Jenson Button though as the 2006 Honda challenge shows more serious signs of potential.

Button, along with test driver team-mate Anthony Davidson in fourth, proved that the Japanese car maker has produced an ominously fast package, although Jenson did suffer his first engine failure since the introduction of the new RA106.

While attention continued to centre on Valentino Rossi, Ferrari's Felipe Massa and Michael Schumacher set the third and fifth fastest times respectively.

Rossi, who spun several times during the day, managed the 12th fastest and was once again in the mid-1m12s bracket.

The MotoGP legend has now concluded his running in Spain but declared himself happy with his performance over the three days.

"It was a wonderful opportunity for me and I am very satisfied," he said.

"Now I go back to testing motorbikes, which are my priority this year. Ferrari and myself have two championships to do 100 percent now. As usual, we hope to be able to win in both."

Christian Klien was relieved to finally have some dry running in his new Red Bull RB2 chassis and impressed with the sixth fastest time.

Jacques Villeneuve continued steady progress and set the eighth fastest time of the day while working on set-up.

Ralf Schumacher was ninth in front of the Williams pairing of Alex Wurz and Nico Rosberg who both were troubled by mechanical glitches.

McLaren's Juan Pablo Montoya (14th) also spent some time in the pits as he worked on long runs with the new MP4-21.





Thursday's times from Valencia

1. ALONSO Renault 1m10.904s
2. BUTTON Honda 1m10.907s
3. MASSA Ferrari 1m11.284s
4. DAVIDSON Honda 1m11.573s
5. M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari 1m11.649s
6. KLIEN Red Bull 1m11.796s
7. KOVALAINEN Renault 1m12.011s
8. VILLENEUVE BMW 1m12.179s
9. R.SCHUMACHER Toyota 1m12.182s
10. WURZ Williams 1m12.246s
11. ROSBERG Williams 1m12.313s
12. ROSSI Ferrari 1m12.315s
13. DE LA ROSA McLaren 1m12.360s
14. MONTOYA McLaren 1m12.488s
15. TRULLI Toyota 1m12.525s
16. KUBICA BMW 1m12.811s
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Feb 2, Rivals assess Rossi's run.

Rivals assess Rossi's run - 02 February 2006

After Valentino Rossi impressed the Formula One world with his pace a day later, Jarno Trulli has pardoned the MotoGP for spinning on his first outlap on Tuesday.

'A damp track is tricky even for us,' the Toyota regular, Italian like the 26-year-old Yamaha rider, said.

1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve, too, was not surprised that Rossi clocked up a decent pace - about a second slower than Michael Schumacher - once the track dried up on much sunnier Wednesday.

'But it is true that the last few tenths are the most difficult,' said the French Canadian.

'But I am not surprised that he drives well.'

The flamboyant rider, with the attention of nearly 200 journalists at the Valencia circuit, was also watched over by father Graziano.

He said: 'Of course he needs more time yet, but he already looks like a Formula One driver, which inspires me.

'Valentino drives better here than he has at the other tests (he did).'
 

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Discussion Starter #10
One more link!

Rossi shines in F1 test with Ferrari
[ See related stories ]





February 2, 2006

By Alan Baldwin

London, England - Motorcycling World champion Valentino Rossi made critics eat their words on Wednesday (February 1) with a strong performance in testing with Ferrari.

The charismatic Italian, driving an old F2004 with a rev-limited V10 engine, completed 53 laps at the Valencia circuit in eastern Spain and was ninth fastest of the 15 drivers in action



His best lap was 1min12.851, according to Ferrari, about a second slower than Michael Schumacher in the new V8-powered 248 car.

World champion Fernando Alonso was fastest in 1min11.291.

A Ferrari spokesman said: "It was a very good performance, we cannot deny it
His best lap was 1min12.851, about a second slower than Michael Schumacher
.

"People who said that yesterday was a flop changed their minds today."

Rossi spun off on his opening lap on Tuesday after being sidelined for most of the day by steady rain.

Conditions on Wednesday were damp in the morning but dry in the afternoon.

The Italian's spin drew a sarcastic response from old MotoGP foe and compatriot Max Biaggi, who tested with Midland last month at a wet Silverstone.

"This time I beat him," commented Biaggi, who has left MotoGP after losing his Honda ride.

"I did 10 laps on a wet track at Silverstone, a real track I had never seen before, while he didn't even get to the 10th corner at Valencia...

"I could explain to him how not to spin a Formula 1 car."

Biaggi's run may have been more for publicity purposes but Rossi has a real chance of making the jump from two wheels to four with Ferrari.

He has been champion for the last five years in motorcycling's premier class top; his Yamaha contract has a year to run and he's had several increasingly serious tests with Ferrari since his first in 2004. - Reuters
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Schumacher interview, too

Rossi To Get Four Wheel Drive
Sunday February 05 2006
Valentino Rossi didn't have the ideal start in Valencia, but he showed enough talent to convince the sceptics that his future is on four wheels

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On Tuesday it wasn't looking good, was it. MotoGP star Valentino Rossi was taking part in his first F1 test that involved cars other than Ferraris and the world was about to see if he had a future in F1.

The Ferrari team were in Valencia to test the new F248 and run the new V8 in a hybrid car and they had taken the most experienced F1 driver of all time – Michael Schumacher – and a bloke who had never raced on four wheels in his life.

It was an audacious move by the Ferrari management and when Rossi spun his Ferrari on a wet Valencia track just seconds into his first lap, the omens didn't look good. The Italian motorbike star, who's won the MotoGP World Championship five times, and could win his sixth in 2006, was out of his depth in the wet.

He was in amongst the experienced wet weathermen of Barrichello, Schumacher, Button, Coulthard, Villeneuve and Montoya.

But on Wednesday the track dried out and despite a few more spins, Rossi outpaced Coulthard, Trulli and Mark Webber in his 52 laps. Perhaps more significant, was that he was only a second behind Schumacher's fastest time. On Thursday he was just 0.65 seconds behind.

Though the spec of the two Ferraris was different, the significant factor was that Rossi was getting quicker.

Another former Ferrari driver, Britain's John Surtees, is the only man to have won World Championships on two and four wheels, and he told BBC Sport the differences are not as vast as many might believe.

"Put simply, you're having to control with your right foot what you normally control with your right hand," he said. "It is a case of adapting to the techniques required with a car, but there is not a huge difference in the way the driver has to understand his vehicle.

"You're strapped in to a car and you don't have the freedom of movement you do with a bike. You can't control it by your bodyweight, you have to sense it and put it through the four wheels.

"But the basic race knowledge and craft you've learnt in two wheels can certainly be applied to four wheels."

Ferrari team leader Michael Schumacher was not surprised Valentino struggled in the wet. "That mistake was understandable," he told L'Equipe. "When a driver sets off with wet tyres they cool down straight away on the first lap and so it's easy to skid. For him it would have been like driving on ice."

The Schum was also impressed by his comeback on Wednesday and Thursday.

"He has enough talent to succeed," the seven-time F1 Champion said. "It's entirely possible for him. I'd even say it's easier to go from motorbikes to cars than the reverse."

Of course that's the easy bit to see. On a MotoGP bike the riders are shifting their weight around it on a lap, changing angles and shifting position all the time. On four wheels there's clearly none of that. Rossi himself enjoyed his Valencia experience.

"It was a very revealing test considering that, for the first time, I found myself on the track with Formula 1 drivers," he said. "I have to say that I felt at home and did not have any particular problems: perhaps I ave to practise a little in driving in the wet! As ever, the Ferrari welcome was fantastic."

"It is a very close knit group and I felt at ease with Michael, Felipe and the technicians and mechanics. I didn't come here to prove anything but to deepen my knowledge of a Formula 1 racing car and I thank Ferrari for continuing to offer me this chance."

Significantly, though, this won't be the last of his Scuderia testing. Valentino is not going to leave it there while he gets on with the business of winning MotoGP title No.6 in 2006... "There will be more tests in the coming months," Rossi admitted.

Although he's got to learn to stop spinning the car, there is now a very strong likelihood that Rossi will be starting for Ferrari in 2007. For a team that could do with some big money sponsors, the publicity he could garner for the team would be enormous.

Rossi in F1 would be good for the sport as a whole, because it could attract new fans in and give it added TV interest. And as we've mused before. Rossi's arrival could hasten the departure of Schumi himself.

Valencia's test proved to be very significant.
 
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