x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

MotoGP champion Rossi had Ferrari talks

Valentino Rossi says he talked with Ferrari about racing in the team's second car at next weekend's Formula One Italian Grand Prix but decided against it.

Valentino Rossi, the Moto GP drivers championship leader, held talks with Ferrari about racing in the team's second car at next weekend's Formula One Italian Grand Prix, but decided against it. Ferrari then opted for Force India's Italian driver Giancarlo Fisichella, who will race for the world champions for the remainder of the season. "I talked with Ferrari about racing at Monza. But without testing and not being in a fight for the title, it would not have been logical," Rossi said. Fishcichella replaces Ferrari test driver Luca Badoer, who struggled in his two races after coming in for the injured Felipe Massa. Rossi showed no signs of regret as he took pole position for tomorrow's San Marino Grand Prix with a speedy late lap in qualifying. With only minutes remaining, Rossi took a risk by changing his tyres but then produced a time of 1min 34.338secs to leave Spain's Dani Pedrosa in second. "I am very happy to get the pole position here in Misano," he said. "We know that it's going to be a very tough race tomorrow, but we are in good shape."Jorge Lorenzo, second in the overall standings behind Yamaha teammate Rossi, clocked the third fastest time with Spanish compatriot Toni Elias fourth on his Honda. Rossi, 30, has cast doubt on his long-term future at Yamaha after they announced last week that Lorenzo will race for them again next season.He questioned the policy of having two strong MotoGP riders in one team. Veteran Italian Capirossi escaped injury despite an off-track excursion during the session. Hiroshi Aoyama took pole in the 250cc category.

* With agencies