MELBOURNE: Lewis Hamilton said he wants “100%” to ride a MotoGP bike and is hoping for more time on two wheels to be ready for the challenge.
The British five-time Formula One champion has made no secret of his love for motorbikes and attended MotoGP’s season opener in Qatar last weekend as a guest of the Petronas-backed Yamaha team.
“Fierce, insane speeds and unforgiving, this sport is phenomenal,” the Mercedes driver tweeted afterwards. “What an experience! How about you guys let me ride next time?”
It followed Hamilton trailing a Yamaha World Superbike at Jerez in December and he told motogp.com that he wants to experience more.
“100% I’m going to ride one, I’m building up to it,” he said ahead of embarking on his Formula One world championship defence in Melbourne in Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix.
“I need more days (on a bike) firstly because I’ve only had two-and-a-half kind of days on the track, but eventually I’d love to try a MotoGP bike. That’s the dream.
“I watch it every weekend it’s on,” he added. “Even when I’m on a grand prix weekend, I’m jumping out of my meetings before and after qualifying so I can watch the (MotoGP) qualifying.”
According to the website, Monster Energy, which sponsors Hamilton as well as the Yamaha MotoGP team, is keen on arranging a ride swap between him and seven-time world champion Valentino Rossi.
Hamilton is a huge fan of Rossi’s and after meeting him in Qatar tweeted: “Always an honour to get time with this legend.
“Over 20 years in the world championship, I’m constantly inspired by this man and his humble attitude to his work, his team and his passion.”