Newly crowned MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi has been offered a test drive with the British American Racing Formula One team by its Boss David Richards, while F1 Tzar Bernie Ecclestone has said he would sign the Italian immediately if he had a team.

The test appears to have been brokered due to Honda's relationship as both employer to the Italian ace in MotoGP and engine supplier to the BAR team in Formula One.

Richards told Italian motorsport magazine Sport-Auto-Moto that: "Valentino is a fantastic racer. We would be happy to give him the opportunity to test one of our racers. He can come round any time."

Ananova report Rossi, who is due to enter the Rally of Great Britain in November, as having responded to the offer with delight, saying: "It's great. I can't wait," while Bernie Ecclestone, former Brabham owner, added: "I've met him (Rossi) and he's a great guy. Had I still got a team I would sign him on immediately."

Four times World Champion, Vale - as he is known to his Repsol Honda team - is one of the most flamboyant riders in MotoGP, famous for his post race celebrations and sense of fun - something almost as lacking in the currant Formula One paddock as overtaking and racing without team orders.

Despite the interest generated by Richards' offer - and Ecclestone's comments - the Italian is under contract with HRC to defend his latest MotoGP crown aboard the Japanese marque's revolutionary RC211V machine next year, making a four wheel switch impossible.

However, Rossi has often stated that he would like to swap discipline's in the future, a desire strengthened by his performance in the Race of Champions, where he regularly embarrasses four wheel stars with his rallying ability.



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