The dream match-up is on. Set for December 9 – around a week after the 2019 Formula One season finale in Abu Dhabi – the two giants of their respective sports will go head to head at Valencia’s Circuit Ricardo Tormo.
The brainchild of shared sponsor Monster Energy, Lewis Hamilton and Valentino Rossi will swap their Mercedes Formula 1 car and Yamaha MotoGP bike in anger. Yes, Rossi on four wheels and Hamilton on two.
The two modern superstars, both multiple world champions with Rossi boasting seven MotoGP crowns and Hamilton six F1 World Championships, are enthusiasts of one another’s categories.
In fact, Rossi is no stranger to car racing, having tested at the premier level on quite a few occasions, but he hasn’t driven an F1 car since 2010 – a 2008 Ferrari.
Such was his talent back then he was even approached to replace the injured Felipe Massa at the ’09 Italian Grand Prix, sense prevailed, due to his MotoGP commitments for that season.
Rossi still takes part in car events. He is a regular winner of the Monza Rally, and is also set to race a Ferrari 488 GT3 at the Gulf 12 Hours at the Yas Marina circuit on the Saturday after his machine swap with Hamilton.
This will represent Hamilton’s first time aboard a MotoGP bike, but he’s done plenty of track day laps.
In 2018, he spent a day at Jerez on a Yamaha R1 M Superbike overseen by factory World Superbike riders Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes.
Smart word suggests that he acquitted himself well, despite a small off.
Lip-smacking stuff huh?