Defending MotoGP champion Marc Marquez is in for a treat this season. The Spaniard will get his first taste of Formula 1 machinery next month. Marquez and his teammate Dani Pedrosa will take part in a Red Bull-organised private test in Austria.
Marquez and Pedrosa will be joined by nine-time Motocross world champion Tony Cairoli, The test is scheduled to take place at the Red Bull Ring on June 5-6.
The 3 riders will not be using the current Red Bull spec cars, but instead they will test the older models. However, it is unclear what type of car will be used in the test. From the few details mentioned, it is likely to be V8-powered, and therefore dating from 2013 or earlier.
Marquez, Pedrosa and Cairoli will head to Red Bull’s F1 headquarters in Milton Keynes in the following days for seat fittings and to spend time on the team’s simulator.
Red Bull’s programme comes on the back of rival energy drink firm Monster. Two years ago, Monster Energy arranged a test for Jorge Lorenzo in Lewis Hamilton’s 2014 title-winning Mercedes at Silverstone.
MotoGP legend and 9-time World champion Valentino Rossi is also no stranger to F1 machinery. The Italian veteran has had multiple outings for Ferrari as he weighed up whether to switch disciplines in 2006. In the end, he decided that his heart lay with MotoGP.
Rossi had even stunned Michael Schumacher in his first test. Former Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali said,
“Vale would have been an excellent Formula 1 driver, but he chose a different road. He’s part of our family and that’s why we wanted to give him this opportunity.
“We’re happy to be together once again; two Italian symbols like Ferrari and Valentino Rossi.”
Rossi nearly had a chance to step into an F1 car in 2009 after Felipe Massa’s accident.
“I talked with Ferrari about racing at Monza,” Rossi said. “But without testing… it would not have been logical.
“We already decided that to enter Formula 1 without testing is more risky than fun. You can’t go there and do everything to understand the car in three days.”