Valentino Rossi Does 185 MPH in a Nascar Beast [Photo Gallery]
Fresh off from the second MotoGP race of the season at the COTA in Austin, Texas, Rossi stepped inside the racing Toyota at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
With Kyle constantly in contact with the Doctor over radio and providing track notes and advice, Rossi's initial shy lap times grew smaller and smaller, until he was able to ride in the ballpark speed of 185 mph (297 km/h) and virtually be in the same league with the Nascar drivers.
His performance equaled what would have been a Top 15 practice time on this track. Out of the Nascar machine, Valentino Rossi added: “At the beginning it was a bit strange because it’s difficult to go straight.
But after some laps, I had a lot of confidence and I was able to go faster and faster and faster. I must say I got along very well with Kyle. He’s a good guy. I like him and he gave me a lot of important advice.”
On the other hand, Kyle Busch commented on Rossi's driving: “And as far as driving the car, I thought he did pretty good. He started out a little slow, which is fine, but every lap he picked it up a lot.
He got to where he was running some competitive lap speeds – times that would put him in the top-15 in Nationwide Series practice. That’s pretty good for a guy in his first start, who is just coming over and getting used to things and someone that is used to driving on two wheels.”
Lin Jarvis, Managing Director of Yamaha was ever so happy for his first-ever contact with Nascar: “For me it’s really fascinating to come here to Charlotte, to the home of NASCAR – this is my first contact with NASCAR, ever – so it’s something I really wanted to do at least one time. To be here with Joe Gibbs Racing and Kyle Busch, that’s as good as it gets.
To have Valentino mix it up here, experience the car, is a fascinating experience for him as well. I just saw Valentino when he came in off the track and even through that helmet, you could see that huge smile on his face. He’s enjoying it and I think this is really great. Thanks to Monster Energy for making this possible.” Via Monster Energy.
❐ Check out the Valentino Rossi in a Nascar photo gallery