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Simoncelli on four wheels in England

Simoncelli on four wheels in England

This week MotoGP star Marco Simoncelli took part in a special test with Castrol and the Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team. The event, held at Carlisle airfield in Cumbria, was arranged by Castrol who sponsor both the WRC Team and Team San Carlo Honda Gresini.

Taking tips from WRC star Mikko Hirvonen, who’s recently returned to the UK after his victory in Rally Australia, Simoncelli ran the Ford Fiesta RS WRC for 50km around the twisting track. The Italian rider is no stranger to Rally driving himself - he took part in the Monza Rally Show in 2010 and finished 16th overall, the highest placed MotoGP rider in the competition.

Following the test, both Simoncelli and Castrol Honda World Superbike rider Jonathan Rea were taken for passenger rides on the test forest stage at the team’s M-Sport headquarters with Mikko Hirvonen behind the wheel. The two then went behind the scenes at the world-class facility at Dovenby Hall to learn about the set-up of the Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team.

“It’s an honour to be invited by Castrol to drive a car like this,” said the MotoGP rider after the new experience. “It took me a little while to get used to it but it’s incredibly well balanced once you get the feel of the controls. It’s always useful to share race experience and technical knowledge with other drivers and riders and I’ve learned a lot today from Mikko and the team.”

The Finnish Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team driver Mikko Hirvonen said: “It’s great fun when Castrol allows us to meet other riders and drivers. Marco obviously has some serious talent. Considering it was his first time with this car, he put in some very impressive times. Maybe there’s a future for him in the WRC after MotoGP!”

MotoGP, 2011, Marco Simoncelli

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