It was 2004. Valentino Rossi and the Ferrari, each in his fields, tyrannized. And then, almost as a joke but then seriously, an idea was born: Rossi on the Red. A kind of dream team combined with the endorsement of the two parties. A marriage that he had to do? We cannot know, certainly it was possible. Because Rossi was born a kart driver and in the first tests he surprised the men of Maranello with his speed. But, in hindsight, they both have no regrets. Certainly not the Doctor, who retraced those ‘Schumacher’ days when he really thought about giving up MotoGP for four wheels. But he would have to leave the certain for the uncertain, do too much apprenticeship without the certainty of the results. And other satisfactions on motorcycles would have been precluded.
“I did the first test with Schumacher’s Ferrari at Fiorano in 2004: as a joke, let’s say. In reality I was born as a car driver, as a child my father Graziano made me race with karts because motorcycles – he said – were dangerous. There, too, I was looking for speed. And so when I tried it I did it serious and it went well. Those of the Ferrari were open-mouthed. Another 5-6 tests and at the end of 2006 there was this great possibility. A dream. However, I would not have immediately become a Red driver: I would have had to do my apprenticeship first, driving in the F1 junior teams. Then it would depend on the results. I thought about it: I was not yet ready to stop with motorcycles“, Rossi said in a long interview with Friday de the Republic. “But I have no regrets: also because then came the 2008 and 2009 world victories, the Laguna Seca race with Stoner, the overtaking of Lorenzo in Barcelona, a great 2015, two-time vice-world champion in 2014 and 2016. Not bad. Since that 2006 I have done like another whole career“.