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GP Week : Issue 52
>>Moto GPnews Rossi to Ferrari … again! VALENTINO Rossi was on the spot again with his fellow-Italian pressmen at Assen, with a re- emergence of reports linking the dominant MotoGP figure with a move to Formula One with Ferrari. The rumours were triggered by the FOTA-FIA crisis in F1, after Ferrari suggested they might supply three drivers to any breakaway series … with Rossi in the driving seat. “To me, it is all smoke,” said Rossi: but he did not rule it out completely, admitting that he speaks to Ferrari’s Domenicali after every race. It had been “a couple of months,” however since he had spoken with Montezemolo. Such a move would be very difficult for 2010, he insisted, because he is already under contract to ride for Yamaha in MotoGP. “For me, it seems FOTA was just using my name,” he said; adding that the whole thing had come about because he had been quick traction control upsets assen fans A banner over the main grandstand spelled the message out clearly: ‘NO MORE TRACTION CONTROL”. By contrast, the fast corners out at the back of the track were echoing with unprecedented levels of popping and banging, with every machine now so much in thrall to traction control that it is clearly unstoppable. It was particularly evident 1 with the Ducatis and Hondas, slightly less so from the Yamahas. The system is not popular with the riders either, but is considered essential. Asked if he’d like to add his name to the sentiment, Stoner grinned broadly: “I’d love it. Until last weekend in Catalunya I’ve had the least amount of traction control of any rider out there,” he said. But he agreed with the general sentiment that the current generation of 800s would be impossible to ride without this electronic assistance. “Pretty much, they’re that highly tuned. They’re too highly tuned,” he continued. “If we had 1000s, it’d be a lot easier to not have traction control. These 800s, they spin to a certain point, but there’s not enough power to keep going. So you need that power and that’s why everyone’s struggling. “If we didn’t have that traction control they’d be light switches, probably worse than 500s. I’ve been watching some older races and some of them you could just drive them out of the corner.” when he tested the Ferrari in 2007 and 2008 (above and left). “It all started because I was fast in testing, at Fiorano, Valencia and Mugello. But it is one thing to be fast in a test, and another thing to race.” He admitted his dedication to bikes had robbed him of the sort of karting and junior-series four- wheel experience of other F1 drivers, but said: “I have a lot of racing experience. Sure I lose something, but I also have some things of my own.”