Ford Secures Valentino Rossi for Rally Great Britain

With the MotoGP title already under his belt, Valentino Rossi seems to be looking for new motorsport challenges this season. The Italian is set to return to his other love, rallying, and join Ford for a couple of outings in the season's finale. He will first compete in the Monza Rally for Ramsport after which he'll be heading to Great Britain to compete in his 3rd WRC event ever, this time with Ford works team.

“I love the rally cars, it's one of my great passions, and unfortunately for me the only time during the year (I can do it) is November and December. But I'm always quite excited because I always have fun with the car, and there's less pressure compared with the motorcycle,” admitted Rossi when announcing his plans for the upcoming months.

The 5-time MotoGP champ is no stranger of WRC, as he previously drove a Peugeot 206 (2002) and a Subaru (2006) in championship events. Both his attempts happened in Rally Great Britain, where he also resides. He crashed out of the rally at his debut but later scored an impressive 11th place overall for Subaru World Rally Team two years ago.

The Italian is currently preparing to end the season on a high note – for this weekend's Valencia Grand Prix – and avenge his previous two performances at the Ricardo Tormo circuit. He'll have a very busy schedule next week also when Yamaha is set to test their 2009 bike – the M1 – on the same Valencia circuit. The team's main objective is to increase pinpoint cornering speed and test the new tires.

Rossi has secured his 5th world championship at MotoGP class from as early as Motegi but insisted that he is looking forward to winning the season's finale at Valencia to end his losing streak on the Spanish circuit. The Italian lost his world crown to Nicky Hayden in 2006 after an early crash in the race and a disappointing 13th place at the finish line. Also, he failed to defend his runner-up spot in the championship to Spain's Dani Pedrosa last season, when crashing out of the race. He's now chasing his 10th win of the season.
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