MotoGP superstar Valentino Rossi says he intends to compete in car racing for up to a decade after he finally retires from motorcycle competition.
The Italian's contract with Yamaha currently runs through to the end of 2010, and he has strongly hinted that he plans to stay in MotoGP beyond that date before switching to four-wheeled racing. In an interview with AUTOSPORT, Rossi admitted that he was concerned that he would not be able to find a suitable challenge in his post-MotoGP life, so was eager to establish a car racing career.
"I don't have a good feeling. I'm not relaxed. I am very worried about the future," he said. "For sure it is impossible for me to find something that gives me the same feeling, the same motivation and the same excitement.
"But I hope to continue for other years with bikes, while it is possible to stay at the top. After that a second part of the career with cars or if not at the same level, at a good level. And I think it is possible to go and race for another 10 years. It's easy with a seatbelt, eh?"
Rossi has already contested a handful of rallies, tested a DTM Mercedes, and famously tested for Ferrari's Formula 1 team when considering a switch to car racing's top level in 2006. He has since ruled out a full-time move to F1, but is eager to enjoy more Ferrari tests when possible.
"I don't know when, but I have a good relationship with them and I am always pushing [team boss Stefano] Domenicali, 'When you have time,' like this," said Rossi. "To have the chance to drive the Ferrari Formula 1 is something important."
He also revealed that the Le Mans 24 Hours was on his list of future plans.
Le Mans is one option," said Rossi. "I hope to have the chance in the future to make Le Mans."