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Rossi set to tackle rally

Reigning world motorcycling champion Valentino Rossi is set to compete in this year's Rally of Britain, the Italian has said.

"Rallies are my passion," Rossi, who is still competing in this year's MotoGP season, told Repsol, the sponsors of his Honda works motorcycling team.

"I try to get in a car as often as I can if I have the opportunity to do so.

"Once, talking to the guys of the Italian team Grifone, the possibility to take part in this rally came up and we began to make plans.

"It's not 100 percent sure yet, but things are on the move."

Rossi has won nine out of 11 races in the MotoGP this season, and leads the world motorcycling championship standings by 89 points.

There are five races remaining, with the Rally of Britain scheduled for November - after the end of the MotoGP season.

Rossi added that he would not be an official contender at the rally.

He said: "The car, a Peugeot 206, will not be an official car or anything like that, it would be crazy to intend to do anything serious in that rally - it's only about a new experience and having a good time."

But Rossi revealed he would like his appearance in a rally car to be more than just a one-off.

"Right now I'm racing on a bike and I'm completely concentrated on it," he said.

"I love to drive those cars, but I have a contract with Honda for one more year and that is my immediate future for the moment.

"Once my sports career in the motorcycling world championship is over I might think about it...and the truth is that I would love to do it.

"But I have to make clear that I don't want to switch to car racing after leaving the bikes believing that I may win.

"It's only about doing something for fun...the truth is that I'm not even sure I'm capable of driving a rally car as well as I ride a racing bike."

Source: Reuters

Date published: Sep 12, 2002
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