Five-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton may be the most accomplished race car driver in the world, but according to him he’s always wanted to race bikes instead.
That’s why, the second he was done celebrating his 2018 title with a win in the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi, he pointed his jet to Barcelona, Spain to run hot laps with the World Superbike boys at Jerez, where MotoGP and World Superbike have just completed winter testing.
He’s an active social media type, so he celebrated a “sick” brace of days on Twitter.
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) December 2, 2018
What his tweet doesn’t say is that he wiped out.
He was running laps on a Yamaha YZF-R1, prepared by team Pata Yamaha. With him were Pata riders Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark. His bike, run last season by Crescent Moto, was the #44 seen in this photo.
F1 world champion @LewisHamilton has been riding at Jerez this week. He’s had a couple of R1s provided by @crescentmoto and had been riding with the @PataYamahaWSBK guys. Spotted these while there for the test! pic.twitter.com/l2Tn9sRNAm
— Simon Patterson (@denkmit) December 2, 2018
He reportedly lost it in either Turn 5 or 7, depending upon which report you read. The bike took some damage, Lewis didn’t and was soon back on the track, running with amateurs in an event organized by British track day company No Limits.
It’s not uncommon for F1 and race bike stars to swap rides. Michael Schumacher famously raced bikes in his first retirement from F1. In fact, that’s how he injured his neck and had to delay his comeback.
Valentino Rossi has done testing with Ferrari on some occasions, reportedly lapping respectable times.
Those guys itch for the adrenaline rush of speed, and Hamilton has the same infection.
“I would want to do Moto GP if I could.
“That’s the only other racing series I really watch and I watch it religiously so wherever I am in the world I’m watching that online. I’m just fascinated by these out-and-out riders who are literally riding by the seat of their pants. I think it’s very cool.”
– Lewis Hamilton; source: Racefans.net
Hamilton, who’s a brand ambassador for MV Augusta, has done this sort of thing before. Last year he spent two days in California running laps with Cal Crutchlow.