Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi has once again how irritatingly talented he is by putting in competitive lap times in a NASCAR test.
The Factory Yamaha rider drove Kyle Busch's car at Charlotte, a 1.5-mile banked oval in North Carolina, after getting some tips from Busch, the most successful Nationwide Series racer in history, as a passenger in the 650bhp Toyota Camry.
"It was so cool to understand the feeling. 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," said Rossi.
"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.
"At the beginning it was a bit strange because it’s difficult to go straight. But after some laps, I had a lot of confidence and I was able to go faster and faster and faster. I must say I got along very well with Kyle. He’s a good guy. I like him and he gave me a lot of important advice."
Busch said: "As far as driving the car, 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."