Valentino Rossi has turned down an offer to race alongside Jean Alesi in a Ferrari 430 GT2 car in the 2010 Le Mans 24 Hours.
The reigning Moto GP world champion, who finished third in class in the Vallelunga Six Hours GT race last month said last summer that he would be interested in competing in the French classic in the future. But as he prepares to compete for his 10th world championship title, Rossi has ruled out any participation in car events that might distract him from this task – including Rally Mexico.
"I'm flattered by Jean's offer, but June is the busiest month of the championship, with as many as three races scheduled, so it's impossible to think of participating in the 24 Hours race," Rossi told Gazzetta dello Sport.
Rossi's Yamaha team manager David Brivio also emphasized Rossi's determination to concentrate on defending his crown in 2010. "Valentino has even abandoned the idea of taking part in the Rally of Mexico, because it's too close to the start of the season, and there are the test sessions, too," said Brivio. "Truth is, when the season starts, Vale wants to concentrate solely on bikes, which constitute his proper job. That's why he takes part in rallies and car races only once the season finishes."
Former Ferrari F1 driver Alesi, who will race an AF Corse Ferrari 430 in the Sebring 12 Hours and Le Mans, admitted he had got the idea after learning that Rossi was interested in doing the 24 Hours.
"It would be a dream for me, even though in truth I haven't spoken to Valentino yet," said the former F1 star. "I got the idea after reading of his desire to race at Le Mans. So why not do that with me?"