Valentino Rossi has claimed that Ferrari wanted him to make the jump across to Formula 1 - and acknowledged that he considered the switch, but in the end decided that he enjoyed racing motorbikes too much to change.

The seven-time world champion tested for the fabled Scuderia on a number of occasions, most recently at Valencia in Spain in early 2006, when he lapped competitively just a second adrift of Michael Schumacher, who has won as many titles on four wheels as Rossi has on two.

The 29-year-old Yamaha star triumphed on home turf at Mugello at the weekend, his third successive victory in 2008 and one that has extended his advantage atop the riders' standings to twelve points over Honda rival Dani Pedrosa as he seeks to add to his four consecutive MotoGP crowns achieved from 2002 to 2005, a period when the man nicknamed 'The Doctor' proved unbeatable.

"I thought about it," the Italian confessed to German publication Welt am Sonntag when asked about why he had never gone on to race in F1 following his encouraging testing form. "Ferrari wanted me. It is another world but I was fast."

The prospect of a Rossi vs Schumacher showdown at the pinnacle of international four-wheeled racing would indeed have been a mouth-watering one, but ultimately the man from Urbino elected to stick with the devil he knew - even if he did recently admit to having had 'some regrets' about his decision not to take the risk [see separate story - click here].

"There was a possibility of moving to F1," he added in an interview with Spanish newspaper El Mundo. "I don't know whether I would have done well or not, but in the end I enjoy my life and still have the passion for motorcycles."

Schumacher, meanwhile, had to pick himself up and dust himself down after suffering yet another fall in his new, semi-professional 'hobby' of motorcycle racing. The German legend - a 91-time grand prix winner - returned to action in the IDM (Internationale Deutsche Motorradmeisterschaft) German motorbike championships at the N?rburgring at the weekend, only to come a cropper on lap eleven after battling his way up into 17th from 25th on the starting grid.

"I am completely okay," the 39-year-old told the Financial Times Deutschland afterwards. "It was my mistake and a shame, because this race was proving a lot of fun. Seventeenth would have been absolutely great for me."