Valentino Rossi 'very interested' in Fernando Alonso's Indy 500 attempt
|By Mitchell Adam||Thursday, April 20th 2017, 18:54 GMT|
Seven-time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi says he is very interested to see how McLaren-Honda Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso will fare in the Indianapolis 500 next month.
Alonso will skip the Monaco Grand Prix to contest IndyCar's blue ribband event, having set his sights on the Triple Crown of winning that race and sportscar's Le Mans 24 Hours to go with his two Monaco victories in F1.
Rossi, who rallies and has tested a variety of four-wheeled machinery including Ferrari F1 cars and a NASCAR on an oval, said he will be keeping an eye on how Alonso gets on in May.
"It was a surprise, because it's strange that Alonso won't race in Monaco," he said of the news.
"But I think the situation with the car [in Formula 1] is difficult and he wants to try something else.
"It will be very interesting to understand the potential of Alonso at Indy because it's completely another world, especially when you race on the oval.
"The one time I went [on an oval] with NASCAR and it was very interesting, but you understand it's very different.
"It will be a great challenge and very interesting to see."
Alonso has also ridden Honda MotoGP bikes at Motegi, in the Japanese manufacturer's last two end-of-year celebration events, and Marc Marquez admitted he was also surprised to learn his countryman would skip the Monaco race.
"The decision on my side is difficult to understand because Monaco is one of the good tracks that maybe with McLaren he can get a good result," Marquez said.
"[The Indy 500] is a race that's difficult to understand from outside.
"You must be really lucky, slipstream is very strange, but the talent of Alonso, all of the drivers in Formula 1 say is one of the best ones in a car.
"His talent is there, I think he'll be really fast."