Valentino Rossi gave a typically witty reply when asked why F1 continues to have a bigger worldwide following than MotoGP, even though MotoGP has 'cooler characters and a better show'.

"I think yes. F1 is the number one motorsport in the world even though in recent years, and especially this year, the races are very boring," replied the reigning six time MotoGP champion, who has tested for Ferrari on numerous occasions since 2004. "Also F1 has all the big car manufacturers in the world."

The Italian superstar then smiled as he added: "All the people follow the F1 races - but more than half are asleep!"

After the laughter had died down, Rossi's Fiat Yamaha team-mate and title rival Jorge Lorenzo gave a more practical reason for the audience imbalance.

"When you go outside your home and you look in the street there are eight cars for every two bikes. This is the problem," commented the young Spaniard.