World champion Valentino Rossi has dismissed the latest speculation linking him to a future switch to F1 as mere 'café table discussions', as rumours re-surfaced that the Italian could find himself behind the wheel of a third Ferrari
in two years' time.
He may have joined compatriot Giacomo Agostini as the only rider in history to have triumphed in 100 races at Assen last weekend – overtaking team-mate Jorge Lorenzo and 2007 title-holder Casey Stoner in the points table in the process – but Rossi seemingly has no intention of letting up just yet.
Though he has tested impressively for Ferrari
on a number of occasions in recent years and the Scuderia's
president Luca di Montezemolo has hinted at the possibility of manufacturer teams running three cars in the top flight from 2011 onwards, however, the Urbino native suggested that any talk of a switch of disciplines is more than a touch premature.
The Yamaha ace had admitted to Italian media that he is 'quite happy to talk about it; it could happen in 2011 – why not?', but he has since sought to stress that any talk of a move is just 'café table discussions... designed to stimulate the imagination of the fans'.
“In 2010 I have a contract with Yamaha, so it would be difficult or even impossible,” he is quoted as having said by French news agency AFP
, at 30 still theoretically young enough to make his competitive F1 debut. “What's more, Ferrari
do not have a third car and right now I have taken no decision about changing sport.
“I am riding my bike, I am happy at Yamaha and I want to stay concentrated on the championship with the objective of winning another title. I will decide what I am to do next year. All this started when I was quick in some private tests, but it's one thing to do a good time alone in practice, and another to compete in a race.”
Doing little to quell the Rossi-Ferrari talk, di Montezemolo has been effusive in his praise for his compatriot, affirming that: “He is a natural racer and a very good driver who could do well in our car.”
The six-time MotoGP
champion has also been linked to a future in rallying following a number of semi-successful forays, most recently on last December's Wales Rally GB, the final round on the 2008 World Rally