"DTM Fan" Valentino Rossi tested AMG-Mercedes C-Class Valentino Rossi tested a DTM car for the first time at Hockenheim today. The 27-year-old Italian impressed with consistently fast lap times with Mika HÃ¤kkinen's 2006 AMG-Mercedes ...
"DTM Fan" Valentino Rossi tested AMG-Mercedes C-Class
Valentino Rossi tested a DTM car for the first time at Hockenheim today. The 27-year-old Italian impressed with consistently fast lap times with Mika Häkkinen's 2006 AMG-Mercedes C-Class.
The Superstar of motorcycle Grand Prix racing adjusted quickly to the AMG-Mercedes C-Class. After testing a Ferrari Formula One car last winter, this DTM test was another opportunity for the multiple MotoGP champion to gain experience with a race car; Valentino, an acknowledged DTM fan had requested this test.
Valentino Rossi can draw on 16 years of racing experience. He started racing karts in 1990 and changed from four to two wheels one year later participating in minibike races at the age of 12. It took him no more than five years to become a Grand Prix driver and in his debut year in the 125 cc World Championship, he won one Grand Prix. In the following year, he ended up World Champion in this category."
"For ten consecutive years since then, he has never finished lower than second in the overall rankings of three different classes. He became the 250 cc World Champion in 1999 and one year later, the 500 cc titleholder. Rossi has won 84 out of the 173 Grand Prix races he has competed in so far. From 2002 until 2005, he clinched the MotoGP title four times in a row.
In the past, a couple of motorbike racers have changed to car racing. Among them was Johnny Cecotto who became motorbike World Champion in 1975 and - following involvements in Formula 2 and Formula 1 - started in the 1988 DTM driving an AMG Mercedes.
The only motorbike World Champion who also became World Champion on four wheels was John Surtees from the UK. He won seven motorbike World Championship titles between 1956 and 1960 and was crowned Formula One World Champion in 1964.
Valentino Rossi: "The test was great fun. The AMG-Mercedes C-Class is an impressive race car which can almost be driven like a formula car. I don't know yet if I will ever race on four wheels; however, it is good to know that I wouldn't look so bad doing so, and I thank Mercedes-Benz for this opportunity."
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "Valentino is an icon of international sport. He immediately acclimatised very well to the AMG-Mercedes C-Class. He is an extraordinary racing driver whose seven motorbike World Championship titles mark an outstanding achievement."
"He also proves great talent in a race car. With his sense of humour and his always sympathetic appearance he immediately made friends in the team. This test of such a calibre like Valentino Rossi is an honour for the DTM as a race series, even if now it shouldn't be assumed that Valentino is poised to swap his two wheels for four wheels with roof."