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

Hamilton eager for first taste of “hardcore” Moto GP bike

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says he is “super-excited” about his planned ride swap with seven-times Moto GP champion Valentino Rossi.

What they say

Hamilton will ride a Moto GP bike and Rossi will test a Mercedes Formula 1 car in the event after this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix:

I’m super-excited about it. I’ve been riding bikes for the last couple of years. I’ve only done like three days on a track but they’ve been incredible.

I’m always watching Moto GP, it’s great because there’s a small group of us within the team that love rising and it’s something I’ve always wanted to generally do since I was really young. But it’s pretty hardcore.

Just being on the same track at the same time as Valentino is going to be very, very surreal and a real honour because he just such an icon in the sport and he’s done so much for it. And it’s be cool to see him in my car as well.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

This weekend’s Caption Competition winner is Hamiltonshairpiece:

Mattia Binotto, Ferrari, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2019

“All I did was swipe across and they both crashed.”
Hamiltonshairpiece

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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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  • 22 comments on “Hamilton eager for first taste of “hardcore” Moto GP bike”

    1. Mercedes (and all other F1 clubs) should have a clause in their contracts that their driver are prohibited from bike riding, sky diving, street racing, mixed martial arts and all other similar stupidity while driving in Formula One. Can you imagine losing your top driver because of some drunken weekend foolishness?

      1. I guess that is why this particular track-activity will be held just after the season finale, with maximum time before next season to recover if anything should happen. And I’m sure Mercedes is not enjoying it as much as Hamilton.

        1. Ferrari tried that with Kimi. Told him he could’t race snowmobiles. Mumbled something, then went racing.

      2. IIRC, McLaren had some clauses around drivers’ activities, although that was primarily (or maybe only) for maintaining the image of their drivers, and by extension the team. It was something that Hamilton chafed at, and he revels in the freedom he has at Mercedes.

        Yes, teams would like to protect their investment in drivers, but I think teams also realize a happier driver is better than a constrained driver, as much as it might cause Toto to gnaw on his nails.

        Also “drunken weekend foolishness”? Have drivers in this millennium partaken in truly risky behaviour like this? I don’t mean something like Kubica going rallying, that’s a regular pursuit for a professional driver. Has any driver done stuff that is truly idiotic like drunken driving? Most I can recall is one of the Force India drivers getting into a drunken fight at a club many years ago.

        Let Hamilton enjoy his Moto GP fling. Heck, let him enjoy it so much he signs up for it. It might be the only way some of the other drivers here have a shot at the WDC in the near future.

        1. @phylyp well, about a week after Kimi was announced as Kubicas Replacement at Renault/Lotus for 2012 he Took part in a snowmobile race in austria where he is said to have been quite drunk .also crashed and hurt his hand which must have really pleased the team considering the circumstances. There was an interview about it by Gerhard Berger who was also present iirc.

          1. @mrboerns – maybe that’s why they started telling Kimi “You will not have the drink” :)

            Thanks for that example, that’s a good one.

      3. @sunnchilde Can you imagine losing a driver to a rival team because you insisted on putting in a stupid clause that meant that they had no free will to use their spare time how they wanted?

        1. @minnis, well, the poster in question is probably thinking of how Kubica injured himself by indulging in his hobby for amateur rallying, or other figures like Montoya, for example.

          Historically speaking, perhaps Patrick Depailler is another example – especially because his hang-gliding accident is sometimes cited as a reason why Ligier couldn’t capitalise on their strong start to the 1979 season, as his absence is linked to Ligier’s development stalling later in the season.

          1. @anon I get that completely, but these are humans, not robots. Let’s treat them as such and allow them to partake in whatever hobbies they enjoy

          2. Couldhard after losing his seat to Montoya explained it nicely…. If fat people excercise they get injured.

        2. As a team owner or Principal, I’m not paying Hamilton (or Lecerc or Vettel) $8 million dollars just to have him go off and break his leg mountain biking. I’m paying him to be there, on time, and drive the damn car.

          1. I’m pretty sure Merc are going to get some exposure out of it, so there might be a silver (ah ah) lining for them.

          2. @sunnchilde I don’t know if that was a random example, but Mark Webber had a rather serious mountain bike accident before the 2009 season. And then another in 2010 just days before the Japanese GP.

      4. Of all those activities, ‘driving in Formula 1’ is probably the most dangerous :P

      5. Mercedes giving Lewis some freedom has netted them record world championships in a row.

        If it was any other team giving their drivers to much freedom, we could have a case, it is limiting their success. But not this team.

        Also it should be mandatory for drivers to drive in other series, so they promote F1 and unique driving ability they posses.

        I want to see them dudes in Le Mans, Indy, Maybe even Spa24h, Daytona 24h ,wherever, MotoGP probably not, because they wouldn’t be fast enough.

      6. @sunnchilde What you typed gave your nuggin a dead-eyed miss, buddy. Total spinal reflex…

        If you took a second from your rabid, fatuous frothing at the mouth to actually read beyond the headline, you’d notice Rossi will be driving Lewis’ F1 car on the same day – Mercedes ITSELF is collaborating in this event! And are you that asinine to think they would let their 6-time champion ride anything – let alone a Moto GP superbike – drunk?!?

    2. OMG! Monster have arranged yet another MotoGP/F1 driver/rider swop for a bit of fun and publicity. Meanwhile Kimi, Bottas and esp Vettel will be rocking their motorbikes around the public roads all off season. Won’t someone thing of the children!
      Doesn’t anyone remember the outcry when MS, Alonso and Webber took to the track? No, me neither.

      1. These current MotoGP bikes are whole different beast compared to F1 cars.

      2. @riptide, in the case of Schumacher, there were in fact quite a few questions over his decision to ride MotoGP bikes after he injured himself quite seriously in an accident in 2009.

        Johannes Peil, the doctor responsible for his medical treatment, confirmed in 2009 that Schumacher had fractured a vertebrae in his neck and suffered a small basal skull fracture when he crashed his MotoGP bike.
        I believe that Dr Peil later confirmed that Schumacher had also damaged two arteries, caused significant damage to his neck muscles and was severely concussed during that accident, and that Schumacher was still suffering from after effects from his accident at least as late as 2010. There were later rumours that Schumacher might never have physically recovered from his MotoGP accident and suffered permanent damage to his central nervous system and neck muscles.

        You might laugh, but considering that one of the drivers you are using as an example was probably extremely lucky that he wasn’t killed when testing a MotoGP bike – Schumacher was lucky it was just a small basal skull fracture – you’re perhaps unintentionally just reinforcing the very risks that you seem to laugh off.

        As an aside, has Webber ever piloted a racing motorbike? I’m pretty sure that he has said he wouldn’t do that precisely because he thought the risk of getting injured was too high.

        1. Schumacher had an accident riding a Superbike, not a MotoGP. At the time he was pushing trying to set competitive times, he had even tried a Ducati MotoGP and set a time within 5 seconds Casey Stoner.

          I doubt Hamilton will try to push that bike to the limit.

    3. Absolute dud caption competition winner.

      Loads of incredibly inventive entries and you choose THAT?

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