Schumacher tests Hanspree Ten Kate Honda Fireblade

By Andy Downes -

World Superbikes

 26 September 2008 11:19

Michael Schumacher tested the Hannspree Ten Kate Honda Fireblade alongside World Superbike racers Carlos Checa at Magny Cours in France yesterday.

Seven-time Formula 1 Drivers’ champion, Michael Schumacher, tested the Fireblade currently being campaigned by Carlos Checa in the World Superbike championship. Checa and the Ten Kate team were testing at the French circuit of Magny-Cours, which will host the next round of the championship (October 3 to 5) and Schumacher was given the opportunity to test the racing version.

Schumacher said: “Riding the world superbike has been a step up for me and it’s a lot more difficult. My target for the test was to enjoy it, but at the same time to learn.

"I think with more time things could have been even better because the team have a lot of possibilities, and there are a wide range of changes to make. Perhaps may be in the future we can do something together and I can increase my experience.”

Schumacher, 39, won two F1 titles with Benetton before winning five further world championships with Ferrari between 2000 and 2004. Since his retirement at the end of the 2006 season, the German has spent time racing motorcycles and has raced a Honda CBR1000RR in this season’s IDM Superbike series.

The Dutch Ten Kate team won last season’s World Superbike championship with Britain’s James Toseland and the team has also won the last six consecutive World Supersport championships for production machines of 600cc.

Hannspree team manager, Ronald ten Kate, said: “I’m always a little nervous letting someone ride our bikes before the end of the season, but with Michael, I was happy to make an exception. He’s proved to be more than capable of handling the power of our CBR1000RR and he’s really a very good rider.”

Schumacher added: “It was interesting to see how a professional superbike team works.  It was difficult to understand the machinery fully with such a short amount of time but it was a great experience. It was also good to be a team-mate with Carlos who I have known for a number of years.  I would like to thank Mr ten Kate for giving me the opportunity to try things out.”

MCN was there alongside Schumacher as he tested the bike and our WSB reporter Michael Guy was the only journalist allowed to be at the test. He spoke exclusively to Schumacher about testing the bike.

Check back later today as we upload video of the seven-times Formula One world champion on track and read all about the test in the October 1 issue of MCN out on Wednesday.