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WRC commercial boss, David Richards, wants to try and get MotoGP superstar, Valentino Rossi, to defect to the FIA World Rally Championship in 2008.

Rossi competed in his second WRC event in the Rally New Zealand, eventually finishing just outside the top ten in his privately entered 2005-spec Subaru Impreza WRC car. He also won the Monza Rally event the weekend after, as he continues to try and weigh up whether or not he might have a future in rallying.

Richards is convinced the Italian would be good for the WRC and is keen to get him in a proper works car for next season's Wales Rally GB.

"I have helped Valentino out with a car for rallies because he would be great for the sport and I'd love to see him in a full WRC season," Richards told British newspaper, The People recently. "I know that he is signed to Yamaha for next year's MotoGP, but we want to get him in a full WRC car for next year's Rally GB and then to see if he wants to sign up for a season.

"Valentino has told me how rallying is what he wants to do. But it is just a case of what happens with Yamaha - and what happens next season, because I know that he wants to claim his eighth crown in MotoGP.

"But if he does then I'll be trying to make sure that he is in a full works WRC car for the season after because he would be fantastic for the sport and he's still so young that his career could also be a long one. Rossi would be great for the fans."

Rossi has done little to quell the speculation, and indeed recent comments attributed to him suggest that he is also very keen on doing the Rally GB in 2007, even though his outing in Wales in 2002 ended after just 17 kilometres when he went off the road in the first proper stage.

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