Lewis Hamilton, Crescent Racing Yamaha Superbike test, Jerez, 2018

“This bloke can really ride”: Hamilton praised after Superbike test

2018 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton’s performance in a Superbike test at Jerez last weekend was praised by members of the World Superbike team which ran his machine.

Paul Denning, team principal of Crescent Racing which operates the Yamaha squad and a former rider, said Hamilton showed real talent. “This bloke can really ride,” Denning wrote on social media. “Talent for days and a proper good lad.”

Team rider Alex Lowes said the five-times Formula 1 world champion was “very quick and impressive” on a bike. “Top bloke and genuine two-wheel fan.”

Hamilton made a brief mention of the test on his social media accounts, saying he had a “sick couple of days in Jerez”. He rode a Yamaha YZF-R1 of the type used by Crescent in the Superbike World Championship.

Andrew Johnston, team owner of ASJ Racing which competes in the National Superstock 1000 series, said Hamilton had previously expressed an interest in riding one of the bikes.

“He’s always had a soft spot for the R1,” wrote Johnston. “He wanted a go on mine in Barbados but ‘his management’ wouldn’t allow it for ‘insurance’ purposes.

“A genuine bloke with some kick ass talent,” he added.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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60 comments on ““This bloke can really ride”: Hamilton praised after Superbike test”

  1. Any details on his “off” that he had?

  2. I think that’s really cool.

    1. Me too, @robbie. And the bike/gear design is very cool.

  3. As if anyone/any team will say “this guy can’t ride!”.. when did anyone heard a team that invited a VIP on a race car or bike that criticize the driver/rider… Same what they said on Rossi on a Ferrari, Lorenzo on a Mercedes, Pedrosa and Marquez on a Redbull/STR.

    1. Well you’re in a bad mood

    2. Doesn’t matter what Hamilton does there will always be some no name nobody to diminish it eh?

      1. The irony is rich with this one.

      2. Being compared to Marquez (and heck, Valentino Rossi) isn’t exactly my idea of having whatever you do being diminished.

        1. Though otoh I’m really inclined to think HAM would do rather well on bikes should he make a switch now (given adequate preparation), as much as Rossi, Marquez, etc would be on cars (I mean we’ve only got one WDC precedent…close enough?) so I wouldn’t say the negativity was warranted :/

        2. Being compared to Marquez (and heck, Valentino Rossi) isn’t exactly my idea of having whatever you do being diminished.

          Guess that’s where that awkward thing known as context comes in.

          1. Fair, I guess I didn’t really read that comment as negatively as it was meant to be (or at least as negatively as it read to most) to begin with.

    3. Awww bless. You ok hun?

      1. Seems a reasonable comment by noname, Hamilton might well be a good rider (and will have a lot of transferable skills from F1) but the people who paid to be there probably wouldn’t say otherwise.

        1. The people who were there, were all WSBK riders carrying out pre-season testing, it was an open day for amateur riders.

    4. “Noname”, let’s get something straight, right off the bat. Anyone with any solid knowledge about motorcycle racing can see from the photos of Hamilton that he knows exactly what he is doing. You cannot fake riding style. You’re not hidden in a carbon fiber tub; … you are OUT there, for all to see.

      In every photo of that test, Lewis is relaxed and in control, and situated on the bike exactly as he should be. And, once again, you cannot fake that.

      How do I know? … I know because, more than likely, I was knee-dragging on race tracks before you drew your first breath. So, knock off the negatives about something that’s way over your head. Lewis did an excellent job. Racers are racers.

      1. Nicely put mate, a pictures worth 1000 words, Lewis looks damn good on that bike and Alex Lowes wouldn’t be that close and committed unless he trusted him.

        1. @budchekov good point. that picture shows a high level of trust. it would be amazing if hamilton could do something in the bike world but I can’t really see it happening. i think F1 drivers going to other categories tends to result in a high number of accidents (e.g. raikkonen, kubica in rallying), which is not really feasible on bikes. transitioning the other way, from bikes to cars, might be more likely, but the level of preparedness and professionalism that is required in all top level sport means this is probably a distant dream, confined to the likes of hailwood and surtees.

          never say never though – look at esther ledecka in the winter olympics. she did something that was thought to be essentially impossible.

          1. @frood19 Never wouldn’t actually be the truth anyway, in fact (at least as far as bikes-to-cars goes)

    5. True that.

      Really can ride compared to us?

      Superhuman understanding of grip, braking point references, lightning reflexes, keen eyesight, years of experience at moving at breakneck speeds?

      So he was probably great for mortal standards, but compared to some kid who drove bikes from age 4, he is probably nowhere near Moto 2/3 level, let alone GP.

    6. I remember that Valentino Rossi’s performance has been really impressive to the point that Ferrari were seriously considering him for a ride. In 2006, he made around 6/7 test sessions. The first two sessions were full of spinning and errors but then he was able to improve his pace and in the last session Schumacher , who was present, was stunned by Rossi’s lap times. Just for info, Valentino Rossi used to be a Karting driver but due to the lack of backing he went to pursue a career in motorcycling instead.

      1. “The first two sessions were full of spinning and errors………”

        Sounds a lot like his early forays on two wheels. 1st race didn’t make it round the first corner, 2nd race didn’t make it round the first lap, 3rd race won…..and the rest they say is history.

    7. What was his pb time?

  4. #blessed

    1. H.A.M. (brunswick)

    2. “Still I Ride”

      1. very good!

      2. Schooner: Great one!

  5. I have no doubt that Lewis can ride, and much better than me, but compared to whoever it is on the #22 bike he looks like he’s taking it easy ;-)

    1. @jimg – I think its just a matter of familiarity – the other rider is probably a test rider who knows how much more to push the bike, while Hamilton is exploring the boundaries much more cautiously (and rightly so, this isn’t a race with points at stake).

      I’ve said this previously about his public persona, and I’d repeat myself – it is cool of Mercedes to give him the freedom to do this, I’d hardly think the Ron Dennis-era McLaren would have hardly permitted this.

      1. Sam Lowes. MotoGP/Moto2 rider. Ex British Supersport and World Supersport Champion.

        1. Thank you, that explains his aggressive stance in the corner :-)

          So yeah, it strengthens my point – it would be like putting Rossi in an F1 car, and then comparing how he takes kerbs vs. someone well versed like Hamilton.

        2. That’s Ales Lowes who rides in WSBK, he’s Sam’ twin brother [he rides in Moto2]

          1. Opps. Not the first to get them mixed up. :) Yes Alex, ex British Superbike Champion

      2. Phylyp: Your comment hit the nail squarely on the head. To take it one step further, at any new track, for the first few laps, even the best MotoGP racers will look more like Lewis’s riding stance than Lowe’s, as they feel the layout and get comfortable. If Lewis was looking more like Lowe at this stage, I’d be concerned that he was pushing it too far, too soon.

  6. “He wanted a go on mine in Barbados but ‘his management’ wouldn’t allow it for ‘insurance’ purposes.

    Funny thing about insurance companies: they relate premiums to risk. Premiums are low when the risk is low, and premiums are high when the risk is high. So somewhere in the background is Mercedes with an insurance policy … that’s just increased in cost because the risk of them not having a World Driver’s Champion in their car has gone up. My guess is Hamilton’s life insurance premiums just went up too.
    I was surprised to see Hamilton actually doing this because he’s got the top job in F1, and so why risk putting yourself in hospital for a few months, possibly with career changing consequences too? We all have to cross the road, but life experience teaches you that walking is safer than running across the road. Maybe he overlooked seeing Robert’s proof he can get out of an F1 car in five seconds. Anyway, his insurance agent will be visiting him with his new policy, and I suspect he had phone call from an “unhappy” Toto muttering things about increased premiums too.

    1. I’d guess that the insurance for LH would cost more than all the bikes that were testing put together.

    2. I can see Hamilton wanting to do this.

      Hamilton is mature enough now. He knows he’s not going to go out there and do something stupid.

      He takes an exponentially greater risk riding his street bikes on the street.

      I can also see the insurance company losing their minds over him riding on the track… and they should know better than anyone, Hamilton is safer on track than on the street.

      1. “Hamilton is mature enough now. He knows he’s not going to go out there and do something stupid.”

        Schuey thought that too?

  7. As a long time motorcycle rider myself, this makes me very happy :)

  8. georgeboole (@)
    3rd December 2018, 21:11

    Hamikton showing the way to Alonso on a different triple crown

    1. the tour de france is next

      1. Seriously, I do think Alonso may play a part in this.
        Do you think Hamilton isn’t noticing all the headlines ALO is getting whether it’s from the royal send off he got from F1 or LeMans and now Indy?
        HAM wants to get some of his own glory so he does this stunt. ALO is smart enough to stick to 4 wheels.
        I can’t believe Mercedes is stupid enough to let him do a dangerous stunt like this which, if he crashed as he did, could put him out of racing for good.
        Schumacher hurt himself doing the same thing.
        Not smart on HAM’s part and even more so on Merc.

  9. Lewis, RESPECT!

  10. joe pineapples
    3rd December 2018, 21:55

    Don’t encourage him. Want to see him in full attendance for the remainder of his F1 career, not skipping a season due to broken bones :/.

  11. Why does only the stationary bike have 44 stuck on it? Was that Lewis on the number free bike or shots of another rider?

    1. Never mind they just stuck on frong number after the ride, mystery solved.

  12. nice one Hamo.. It takes real balls to knee drag like that!

  13. @phylyp

    Rossi would have been a natural in F1 having started out in Karting and being a national champion.

    1. I don’t think so, look at this comparison of him, to another karting champion that is now a disabled f1 racer for 2019 (and was disabled in this video:
      Rossi had a modified engine (you can hear its so much louder than kubicas, and he cant do hairpin turns as well as a one armed man.

      here is Robert in Monaco karting with lewis , in a pure white helmet, because his dad wanted to save money to buy tires, while Hamilton had all the best gear with McLaren sponsorship:

  14. I don’t understand the criticism by some people. He is not a 2-wheel specialist racer and if people who know their stuff are saying that he drove well, maybe he did (maybe he didn’t but how does that matter).

    To be honest I am slightly surprised that Hamilton trying a 2 wheeler for test racing in his spare time was a post-worthy news item on this website at all. And the topic is 2018 F1 season. Perhaps could have been covered in round-up or just a twitter post in the round-up.@keithcollantine

    1. Well, judging by the heaps of comments, @square-route, a lot of us obviously found this article very interesting. If you are not interested in the article, then don’t read it and don’t comment. Sorry if that sounds harsh but, really, how can you ignore the mass of interest that people have shown here and still suggest it’s not post-worthy! That’s pretty egotistical.

      1. 1. Dont get me wrong @shimks. I aint saying that the post is poorly written or is not interesting. Its just that ‘an f1 driver indulging in his personal interest/hobby/time-pass’ appears on the site, not only as a small part of a round-up but as a full article dedicated to it (under the heading of 2018 F1 season), seemed out of the order to me somehow. And hence I wrote that suggestion to Keith.
        2. I can show you videos of squirrel playing football to be found more interesting and have larger heaps of comments than this news. Doesn’t prove your point.
        3. Me posting a suggestion on what i think is not me being egotistical. I wonder whats going wrong in your life that you had to say such a thing towards such a harmless comment of mine.

        enjoy your life…

        1. You are absolutely right, @square-route. I am really sorry for my harsh comment. It was uncalled-for and unnecessary.

  15. Knowing some lap times would be nice. There are a couple of things I find rather surprising:

    – That’s a full spec SBK bike. Forks, wheels, brakes, carbon fiber fairings… he’s not playing around.

    – Bridgestone stickers and slicks. Wonder what Pirelli would have to say about this, specially considering that SBK bikes use Pirelli as well.

  16. In the title photo it looks like he can ride, but very slowly compared to what is required, look at his lean angle compared to the guy behind who is still only riding half hearted no doubt, same with every other photo where he is leaning.

    1. I guess you dont ride yourself… Ham just past the apex and accelerating while lifting the bike th e other guy is behind him just on the apex
      You can see the chain of Ham’s bike loose at the bottom (acceleration) and the other guy’s stretched (no throttle)

  17. Blimey, this Hamilton bloke is a proper good lad he is, genuine top chap, the bee’s knees I tell you, just give him a bike and Bob’s your uncle.

    Just thought the team principal sounded like a caricature of a British person :D

  18. Stephen Higgins
    4th December 2018, 18:33

    I’m sure he was just having a bit of fun . . .

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