February 2, 2006 Italian MotoGP star Valentino Rossi is already a phenomenon and seems destined for an even greater share of the media’s attention over the coming year now that he has stepped into the limelight of the world’s biggest spectator event – Formula One. Yesterday he stepped out in his new capacity as an official Ferrari F1 test driver alongside team leader Michael Schumacher and amongst most of the major Formula One drivers on the same track – the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia, Spain. Driving a 2004 Ferrari F2004, Rossi finished eighth fastest of the 15 drivers, completing 53 laps, with a best time of 1.12.851. Schumacher covered a total of 71 laps, setting the third quickest time of the day at 1.11.814. Rossi was faster than a number of established F1 stars on the day, including Red Bull’s David Coulthard, Williams’ Mark Webber and Toyota’s Jarno Trulli. Rossi has been linked to a move to Formula One in 2007, with his Yamaha MotoGP contract expiring at the end of 2006. This article looks at the parallel careers of Rossi and the only person to have won both the F1 and MotoGP championship - John Surtees.
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