Six-time Forumla 1 World Champion, Lewis Hamilton, has confirmed media claims that he crashed a Yamaha MotoGP bike at Valencia, during a recent swap of disciplines with nine-time MotoGP champ, Valentino Rossi.
As a relative newcomer to motorcycle racing, taming a prototype machine producing in the region of 270bhp was always going to be difficult, with strong winds at the circuit making it even harder.
Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: "I had one little spin with it but otherwise brought it back in one piece. I was just step by step learning, but it's a very steep learning curve."
Hamilton enjoyed a number of sessions aboard a 2019 Yamaha YZR-M1, which raced at the circuit back in mid-November during the final round of the season. He was also then joined on track by Rossi, who used another M1 to provide some expert tuition.
Rossi also got behind the wheel of Hamilton’s 2017 championship-winning Mercedes-AMG F1 car for a number of laps.
Motorsport megastar mash-up! Rossi squares up to Hamilton on circuit
First published: 5:45pm 11 December 2019 by Dan Sutherland
Nine-time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi has traded places with Formula 1 superstar and multiple championship-winning Lewis Hamilton at Valencia, with the pair swapping disciplines at an exclusive track event.
Having teased fans with the prospect of a switch on social media for weeks, the motorsport greats took to the track yesterday, with Rossi behind the wheel of Hamilton’s 2017 championship-winning Mercedes-AMG F1 machine and Hamilton aboard Rossi’s 2019 Yamaha M1, which he campaigned at the final round of the season in mid-November.
The pair were given a number of runs on each other’s machines, with Rossi also taking to the track with Lewis on another M1 MotoGP bike.
Rossi said in a statement: "I was a big fan of Lewis’ before but now I am even more. We had a fantastic day where the two top classes of motorsports not only met but worked together. I felt like a real F1 driver for a day. I didn’t want the day to end.
"I also rode the YZR-M1 on track with Lewis. It was a proud moment for the team to share our passion with him. Technically, Valencia is a hard track and today was windy so at one point I thought it would be difficult for Lewis to continue, but he was brilliant on the bike and his position on the M1 was great. I think he had loads of fun which is the main thing."
Adding to this, Hamilton said: "It was so cool to be out on track and see Valentino ahead of me on the same bike and it’s so awesome to see a legend like Valentino in the car. I’m excited for him, for discovering the car for the first time. Reminds me of my first time in an F1 car. When you see all the team around you, it’s just a different animal."
Unfortunately, for those asking the all-important question, it seems the stopwatches were left at home, with no official lap times currently available for either Rossi or Hamilton.
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