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Rossi targets life on four wheels

October 15 2003 at 06:27PM

Paris - World motorcycling champion Valentino Rossi, fresh from wrapping up his fifth world title at the weekend, believes his long-term future may be on four wheels, not two.

"I want to stay another two or three years in the world motorcycling championship but beyond that I'm not sure what I want to do," the Italian told Motorcycle News.

"I love to drive cars. I started my career in karts and the only reason I changed was because that was too expensive. But it has never left my mind to one day think about racing in cars."

The Italian rider, who won a third consecutive crown in the sport's top category to add to his 125cc and 250cc titles, is already the subject of speculation regarding his immediate future with Yamaha reported ready to snatch him away from Japanese rivals Honda.

'I love to drive cars'
Rossi already has some top-level experience in rallying - last year, he took part in the Rally of Great Britain in a Peugeot but crashed out on the opening day.

"When I did the Rally of Great Britain I was very unlucky," he told the magazine.

"That was just for fun, but maybe one day I'll be doing it properly. If I was doing it regularly, then who knows what it might lead to?"

On Tuesday, Ferrari chief Luca di Montezemolo also suggested that he might give Rossi a run in one of his F1 cars in the near future.

As far as Formula One is concerned, Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo on Monday invited Rossi to take a test drive with the triumphant team.

Montezemolo said he was curious to see if the 24-year-old Italian could handle a Formula One car.

"If the conditions were right I think it would be worth it - a serious test without commitment from either party," Montezemolo said.

"It's always been difficult to go from two wheels to four and these days it is even harder. Today Formula One is much more dangerous than it was in the past, but Valentino is a great champion and a symbol of motor sports."

Englishman John Surtees was successful in making the switch from motor cycling to motor racing. The Londoner won seven world motorcycling championships before claiming the Formula One world title with Ferrari in 1964. - Sapa-AFP

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