Ducati MotoGP team manager Vittoriano Guareschi has revealed that Valentino Rossi will be fit enough to race former F1 world champion Fernando Alonso at the forthcoming 'Wrooom' event.
The annual 'Wrooom Ferrari & Ducati Press Ski Meeting' takes place in the snow-covered Dolomites each January and includes some ice races (Fiat 4×4 Pandas and go-karts in 2010) involving both the two and four-wheel grand prix stars.
However, Rossi's post-season shoulder surgery meant his 'debut' was in doubt.
"[Rossi] won't be snowboarding, and he is disappointed about that, because it's just too risky for his shoulder,” GPone.com quotes Guareschi as telling Italy's Corriere dello Sport
, “but for sure he will participate in the car race on the ice, against Fernando Alonso."
The Ducati MotoGP riders have traditionally performed admirably against the F1 drivers in the ice races, but this year's event will have much more interest since seven time MotoGP champion Rossi and double F1 world champion Alonso have previously exchanged words about each other's ability.
After Rossi impressed during his Ferrari F1 tests in 2006, Alonso commented that "Rossi might finish fifth or even get on the podium [in F1] but I could do the same in bikes if I was given enough time to practice."
Rossi's response was to suggest a three-part head-to-head showdown between the two of them - adding together the lap times in an F1, MotoGP and WRC machine to find who is fastest.
That never happened, so there is sure to be plenty of pride at stake this January.
The Wrooom press meeting will also see Ducati officially unveil its 2011 MotoGP machine, in full livery, while Rossi will speak publically for the first time since signing for the Italian factory.