Lewis Hamilton and Valentino Rossi, the Formula 1 and MotoGP six-time world champions, will come head to head on December the 9th at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Cheste. Both legends will swap their machines in a unique race which has been organised by their common sponsor.
The Briton will climb onto Rossi’s Yamaha M1, while the Italian takes a seat inside of Hamilton’s Mercedes F1 car. The race will consist of a battle against the clock on board their usual vehicles and also onboard each others’.
The pilot from Tavullia has already travelled to the Mercedes factory in Brackley (England) where they have measured him for a bespoke seat. That is how serious things actually are.
Hamilton: A motorcycling fan, both on and off the track
On multiple occasions, Hamilton has declared his passion for motorbikes in general and for motorcycle racing in particular. His personal interest is such that he has already ridden different bikes at a number of events, the last one in December 2018.
Coinciding with the Superbike pre-season tests in Jerez, Hamilton got on top of the 2019 Yamaha Pata of Briton Alex Lowes. Lowes himself acted as a personal tutor for number 44.
Only nine months before that, on March 2018, Lewis travelled to the Almeria Circuit to receive an intense master class from Antonio Maeso, a former pilot in the legendary Isle of Man race.
It is apparent that Hamilton has sought out any training opportunity available over the last few years in order to further develop his motorcycling skills.
Another one of such opportunities took place just a year earlier. In February 2018 he flew to the United States to meet MotoGP pilot, Cal Crutchlow. Both compatriots then trained together on the Chuckwalla Valley Raceway in Southern California.
During an intense day of training, Hamilton learned about Crutchlow trajectory with his bike by riding very close behind him. Despite being completely accustomed to reaching hair-raising speeds in his car, the champion from Stevenage was dazed by Cal’s rhythm.
As well as being passionate about competitive racing, Lewis Hamilton is also a fan of commercial bikes. It is not unusual to see the six-time champion arrive at a Grand Prix on top of some impressive machine, especially the MV Agusta, a firm that he represents. The Briton is always happy to “burn rubber” or make a doughnut in public very much to the delight of his fans.
Rossi, a master on four wheels
Just as his British counterpart, Valentino Rossi is fascinated by cars despite these not being part of his official trade. The Italian has fallen for the Formula 1 single-seaters and even for Rally, NASCAR & DTM vehicles. His affair with Formula 1 started with Ferrari in 2004, after taking part in several private tests in Mugello and Fiorano.
After his shinning performance in Spain (he finished just one second behind The Kaiser) he almost makes the jump to F1. As if that hadn’t been enough proof of his mastery, he repetead the feat two years later in Barcelona.
Besides of Formula 1, Rossi has also demonstrated his talent with rally cars by taking four consequtive victories (2015-2018) in Rally Monza. He also got behind the wheel of a NASCAR car with Kyle Brush at the Charlotte Motor Speedway of North Carolina in 2013 and seven years before that, he drove a Mercedes DTM in Hockenheim (Germany).