F1 Champ Lewis Hamilton Impresses in One-Off Superbike Ride at Jerez
Despite suffering a minor crash while piloting his two-wheeled rocket, the five-time champ was upbeat about his outing.
After rounding out the season in which he claimed his fifth Formula 1 World Drivers' Championship with a win, Lewis Hamilton headed to Circuito de Jerez in Spain to try his hand at two-wheeled action. The Briton was given a test day on a competition-grade Yamaha YZF-R1 Superbike where he rode alongside series professionals, impressing them as well as MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi in the process.
While fellow F1 star Fernando Alonso was busy piloting a NASCAR around the Bahrain International Circuit in a special crossover event of his own, Hamilton climbed aboard his all-black Yamaha and proceeded to show his speed which he'd learned from riding on his own throughout the years. Pata Yamaha World Superbike team principal Paul Denning was floored by the 33-year-old's ability to adapt so quickly from four wheels to two, this being his first week off after the F1 season ended in Abu Dhabi.
A slight crash might've caused a bit of a scare for Hamilton (and certainly Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff), but it was just a minor hiccup in what, otherwise, seemed to be a stellar outing.
Hamilton then took to Instagram to praise the opportunity, saying those who ride bikes professionally are on "another level." He also confessed that he'd always had more of an affinity for motorcycles than cars, but it'd be a far cry to bet on a Superbike or MotoGP career for him after his F1 tenure expires.
"Woke up feeling great today, miss riding the super bike already," Hamilton posted to Instagram. "FYI I’ve always loved 2 wheels more than 4. Always wanted a motorbike since I was a kid, however am super grateful my dad got me a kart. But current new love is out on track on my bike."
"I have the highest regard and respect for these motorbike riders. It’s a much different discipline however requires some of the same basics such as time, patience, fearlessness, focus, agility and risk taking. All of which make a sport exciting," he continued. "And yes, I’d love to race bikes. But these guys are on another level, so I think I’ll just enjoy riding and testing the limits on track."
Seven-time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi commended Hamilton or his performance on-track, inviting the international celebrity to join him at his famed ranch for a day behind the handlebars.
"Hamilton is a big bikes fan," offered Rossi. "He follows the races and is always texting me. He exaggerates a bit, as he praises bike riders saying we are the ones taking real risks."
"He has to come to the ranch one day."