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Rossi and Hamilton: Motorsport Legends Swap Rides

Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) is the reigning, and six-time Formula One world champion. He is knocking on the door of Michael Schumacher to be declared the GOAT of automobile racing. Valentino Rossi, who needs no introduction to MD readers, has 9 World championships (7 in the Premier class – 500cc and MotoGP) – already considered the GOAT of motorcycle racing by many, but nearing the end of his storied career on two wheels.

Sharing the same major sponsor, Monster Energy, the two legends decided to swap rides for a day at the beautiful Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia. Hamilton riding the latest Yamaha M1, and Rossi behind the wheel of the 2017 Mercedes F1 machine. A publicity stunt? For sure, Monster Energy and the two champs would benefit from the publicity, but we think there was more at stake.

Rossi is extremely fast in a car (we won’t go into his four-wheel accomplishments, but he has beaten world champion drivers on occasion, including legendary World Rally champ Sebastien Loeb), and has even tested an F1 car for Ferrari in the past. He is the real deal in a car, and might race on four wheels full time after he retires from motorcycle racing.

Hamilton is also quite good on a bike, but he is nowhere near the level on a motorcycle that Rossi is in a car. Nevertheless, this made for an interesting day, which is summarized in a nice video produced by Monster Energy. Here it is:

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  1. Sleeping Dog says:

    An interesting sideline of this, is why Mercedes allowed Hamilton to ride the bike? A couple of years ago, Red Bull allowed their MotoGP riders to drive the F1 car, but didn’t extend the same offer to the F1 drivers.

    Yeah, it’s a promo gag, get over it.

  2. My2cents says:

    Nothing like the expert opinions of seasoned bench racers. Beyond that I’m guessing the site operator has been test riding a Ebike and can’t find a charging station.

  3. Mick says:

    Wow. I leave for three weeks to go to Antactica and Easter Island, come back and there are two articles here about motorcycles. Garbage about road racing, utterly destroyed in 2002, don’t count.

    • Motoman says:

      Been following GP road racing since the early 70’s and I can’t figure out why some people think it died in 2002 when they started racing 4-strokes. Racing can be processional sometimes but no more so than when Mick Doohan was champ 5 times in a row. Mixed in with that are some phenomenal races (kinda just like when Mick raced if memory serves) but more now I think.

      On another note, sounds like an awesome vacation Mick!

  4. RRocket says:

    Rossi was 1.5 seconds behind Hamilton’s time, and Hamilton was “about 4 seconds” behind of Rossi’s lap time…

  5. TimC says:

    Hamilton a GOAT contender? “HA!” x infinity.

  6. Tim says:

    I’m a little surprised Rossi hasn’t retired from MotoGP and given auto racing a more serious run. The relative lack of power of the Yamaha M1 (compared to the Hondas and Ducatis) has to frustrate him. He obviously loves to race and compete, and Marquez’s dominance has to be hard on him. He proved in the 12 hour Gulf race that he can more than just hang with the pros in cars.

  7. Mark R says:

    This whole stunt and the way it has been conveyed to fans by monster energy is a COMPLETE WASTE!

    No lap times to compare the performance of the two?
    Without lap times passed on to us it was a useless exercise in consumption of fossil fuels.
    How Dare you!

  8. Steve M says:

    I have a hard time giving Lewis too much credit given the quality of the Mercedes in the turbo hybrid era. Rossi can ride a saw horse and finish in the top ten. He is the man in this field.

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