Earlier this month, it transpired that 7-time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi and 6-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton will swap rides. Now, the veteran Italian has undergone a seat fitting with Mercedes ahead of the highly anticipated occasion.
The two motorsport stars will perform the swap at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia. This will be done as part of a promotional event run by joint-sponsor Monster Energy.
Lewis Hamilton will get to ride Rossi’s Yamaha, which follows last year’s December test in which he rode a Yamaha R1M super bike.
“I’m super excited about it,” Hamilton said last month. “Just being on the same track at the same time as Valentino is going to be very, very surreal, and a real honour, because he’s such an icon in the sport, and he’s done so much. It’ll be cool to see him in my car as well.”
Meanwhile, Rossi will pilot the 2017 Mercedes W08 and underwent a seat fitting, sharing images on social media.
Rossi last tasted F1 machinery almost a decade ago when he drove a 2008-spec Ferrari at Spain’s Circuit de Barcelona in Catalunya. That little test prompted rumours that the Italian could switch to F1, though of course that never materalised. His name cropped up again in 2009 when it was rumoured that he could fill in for the injured Felipe Massa.
Other racers who have swapped two wheels for four were, Repsol Honda riders, Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez with Toro Rosso. In addition to that, Jorge Lorenzo also tested Mercedes machinery, courtesy Monster.
Meanwhile, on the other end of the pond, Lewis Hamilton is open about his love for motorcycles.
Valentino Rossi is an icon of MotoGP and has done a lot for Italian motorsport. He even has his VR46 Academy, which has produced a number of talented riders.