MotoGP star Rossi to race in 2007 Rally of Britain

Updated: November 25, 2006, 1:34 PM ET
Reuters

LONDON -- MotoGP ace Valentino Rossi intends to compete in next year's Rally of Britain after racing in New Zealand last weekend.

"In 2007 at the end of the season I will definitely race again in the RAC," the Italian told the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper on Saturday, referring to the Welsh event by its former name.

Rossi, a seven-time world champion on two wheels who lost his MotoGP title this season to American Nicky Hayden, has toyed with the idea of a switch to Formula One with Ferrari but made clear that rallying would be his preference.

"Yes, this could be my future after motorcycling," said the 27-year-old at the two-day Rally of Monza, where he drove a Ford Focus.

"Formula One would be within my reach too but I have had my chance and made another choice. Rallies could be a good solution. Not for the entire season, but maybe a program of eight races."

Rossi competed in the Rally of Britain in 2002 but failed to finish the first leg, crashing out early on. He finished 11th in New Zealand, however, after making a cautious start in a privately-entered Subaru.

"I am happy because I did everything that I didn't do in Wales in the RAC," said the Yamaha rider of last weekend. "To go out after 20km, that hurts.

"After going to the other end of the world and having done two days of hard reconnaissance, to go out immediately would have done my head in."