It is no secret that Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton is quite fond of bikes. Ahead of next week’s season opening Australian GP, the 5-time world champion will be in Qatar this weekend to attend the MotoGP season opener.
The British driver is a guest of the Petronas SRT Yamaha MotoGP team as Mercedes is also sponsored by Petronas. It isn’t his first time at a MotoGP race, having attended one in Catalunya 2015.
Hamilton’s interest in bikes only skyrocketed when he took part in a Superbike test at Jerez in December. He was testing alongside regular riders, Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark.
“I’ve always been in love with the bike, I’m really excited,” confessed Hamilton at the second pre-season F1 test in Barcelona.
“I’m not going to see the whole race, I don’t think, but I’m really intrigued to just go and see how the riders operate, how different qualifying is compared to our qualifying, the feedback they are working on.”
“I’ll be using it as an experience to learn a little bit. But don’t read too much into that, I’m too old to do MotoGP. I’m not bounce-proof like young Marquez!”
“But I’ll still have some fun at some point in the year.”
During the WSBK test, he confessed that he was unable to go full throttle like Lowes and van der Mark.
However, it seems that Hamilton’s run impressed so much that MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi hoped to invite the Briton as a guest at his ‘Ranch’ in his hometown of Tavullia. The ranch consists of a 1.8-mile dirt track that the Italian rider often uses for training and as a base for his VR46 Riders Academy programme.
But for now, Hamilton will enjoy this weekend’s MotoGP race before the fun begins in Formula One a week later.