Valentino Rossi was thrilled with his strong showing while testing a Ferrari Formula One car at Catalunya.
Driving a 2008-spec Ferrari on GP2 tyres, Rossi got within 0.1sec of Kimi Raikkonen’s 2008 pole position time at the Barcelona circuit, although direct comparisons are difficult given the different conditions and configurations of the cars.
"We kept the last three quarters of an hour to try a 'time attack' with little petrol and fresh tyres," said Rossi. "I would have given anything for such a lap time."
Rossi last tested for Ferrari at Mugello in 2008 and Rossi said he preferred the Catalunya circuit.
"It's more fun here, because it's a little bit easier," he said. "It's more effort in Mugello, but this track here is really wonderful, with motorbikes and cars, although I have to say that Turn 10 is a little tight and you're braking much later."
Ferrari’s Luca Baldisserri was impressed with Rossi’s performance in the test, despite difficult conditions on the first day, which was disrupted by wet weather.
"We tried different set-ups and he improved a lot," he said. "This means that the driver learns quickly and has room for improvement."