It seems there’s no keeping the seven-time world champion away from a track, whether its on four wheels or two. And yesterday Michael Schumacher was back on two wheels for a very special track day at the Paul Ricard Circuit in Southern France.
He was joined by bike legends John McGuinness, Randy Mamola plus star in the making Pol Espargaro and endurance racer Keith Flint for an event arranged by Monster Energy and the Mercedes AMG F1 Team.
After Schumacher retired (the first time) at the end of the 2006 season he took up bike racing in the Germany’s IDM Superbike series, but a serious crash in testing left him with a neck injury. Although he returned to Formula One in 2010 (before retiring for a second time at the end of this season), he remains a huge fan of bike racing and needed little persuasion to join John McGuinness, who he got to meet and share tarmac with for the very first time.
Schumacher said “Coming here today I felt so proud to be able to turn my hand at riding a bike with guys I really admire. I can’t begin to explain how much fun it was to ride the track with the likes of John, Randy, Keith and watching Pol Espargaro’s huge talent.”
“Riding with Michael was so good. What he’s achieved on four wheels makes him the Godfather of motorsport.” Said a buzzing McGuinness as he tried to take in the day’s experience. “I wasn’t expecting him to be anything less, but he’s fast! You can see his enthusiasm for motorcycles and it was a massive pleasure to spend the day with him.”
Strangely for once it was Keith Flint looking on wide-eyed at an all-star cast in front of him. The man’s no stranger to bikes having been an active member of racing paddocks for several years and knows enough about charging on two wheels to sit up and take notice of.
“Today I was truly able to use the word ‘legend’ to describe the company I was keeping; both from four and two wheels. As I pulled out of the pit lane I mentally pinched myself as I followed out Randy Mamola, Michael Schumacher and a true gladiator in John McGuinness. That Espargaro kid is a bit of a handful too isn’t he?”
Also Read: Déjà View: Remembering Michael Schumacher