Rossi cuts NASCAR laps
Seems that swapping your regular ride for a NASCAR is not limited to V8 Supercar drivers in the US this week with MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi taking to Charlotte Motor Speedway.
After finishing sixth aboard his Yamaha at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, Rossi headed to North Carolina to drive the Nationwide Toyota of Kyle Busch.
Reaching speeds of 298 km/h on the 1.5-mile speedway and blasting along through the 24-degree banking impressed the nine-time world motorcycle champion.
“It was so cool to understand the feeling,” said Rossi.
“I have a lot of friends from Europe and Italy who follow NASCAR. It looks like it’s a completely different type of racing than what we do in Europe and I expected something more like this –exciting, high speed and a great feeling in the corner.
“In the bank you have a lot of grip, so you are glued on the racetrack. It was great, I enjoyed it a lot. I love driving the race car, and I always have, so it was exciting to drive a NASCAR.”
As Kyle Busch’s brother Kurt was in Austin with V8 stars James Courtney and Fabian Coulthard, he was instructing ‘The Doctor’ on the finer points of his Nationwide Series ride.
“I thought it was a really cool experience and it also helps when you have two guys who are enthusiastic about their sport,” said Busch.
“I thought he did pretty good. He started out a little slow, which is fine, but every lap he picked it up a lot. He got to where he was running some competitive lap speeds – times that would put him in the top-15 in Nationwide Series practice. That’s pretty good for a guy in his first start, who is just coming over and getting used to things and someone that is used to driving on two wheels.”
It’s not the first time Rossi has driven a four wheeled race machine having competed in World Rally Championship events.
Unlike his brother who sampled a V8 Supercar, Kyle Busch did not climb aboard Rossi’s MotoGP machine in Charlotte.