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Basem Wasef

Michael Schumacher: Fast on Four Wheels & Two

By April 3, 2008

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Michael Schumacher

When you're hot, you're hot. Michael Schumacher-- retired seven time F1 champ and the world's first billionaire pro athlete-- certainly has no need to dabble in motorcycle racing. Regardless, the lanky German has tested MotoGP bikes and recently finished an impressive fourth in his first competitive race* after fighting his way up from 14th position.

"I am not intending to be the new Casey Stoner or Valentino Rossi," Schumacher told Reuters, adding that he only got into racing about six months ago and hasn't had much seat time. The transition from four wheels to two isn't unheard of in the racing world, but if there's anything that will relieve those jealous of Schumacher's skills, it's his steely realism. "I am not intending to take it up as a secondary career," he told the press. "If so, I should have taken it up 20 years before."

* Schumacher is seen here aboard a Harley-Davidon V-Rod, but he raced a 990cc KTM Super Duke at Misano, Italy

Photo © Clive Mason / Getty Images Sport
Click to enlarge

Comments
April 4, 2008 at 9:50 am
(1) Scottie says:

I understand that F1 racing is not a Sunday afternoon drive, but “althlete”? I even think golf pushes the definition a tad. Sorry, when I think athlete, I think ironman. 4k swim, 200k bike, 26.2 mile run in less than 9 hours.

April 4, 2008 at 10:41 am
(2) motorcycles says:

Scottie,

I think of Ernest Hemingway’s famous quote:

“There are only three sports; car racing, bull fighting and mountain climbing. The rest are mere games.”

April 4, 2008 at 10:45 am
(3) motorcycles says:

PS: This just in from Ducati Corse:

Italian test rider Vittoriano Guareschi was unfortunate enough to suffer a fall during day two of a three day test session for the Ducati Corse Development Team at the Mugello Circuit and, although it didn’t leave him seriously injured, a bad knock to his coccyx meant that he was unable to ride comfortably. This allowed the seven times F1 world champion Michael Schumacher to climb back on board the Desmosedici GP8.

The German rider who recorded surprisingly fast times during a test day in Valencia held after the last MotoGP race of 2007, did not hesitate for a second when presented with this last-minute opportunity to return to the track with the GP8.

Schumacher has also made his debut in a motorcycle competition, having taken part in one race in Misano last weekend.

The German champion completed 42 laps with a best lap time in 1’58.0.

“It was a nice surprise yesterday when I received the sudden offer to come to Mugello today”, Michael said. “And despite the difficult weather conditions it was again big fun to ride the Ducati. But I repeat it very clearly that I have no intention at all to step into any kind of Moto GP competitions.”

April 4, 2008 at 10:47 am
(4) Pete says:

Scottie…I think you might find a whole whack of people who will disagree with you. It’s not uncommon for a driver to get out of an F1, CHAMP or Indy car having lost a few pounds, black & blue from the 4 point harness and totally exhausted.
Make no mistake….these are guys are athletes. A lot of them run Marathons and Ironman in the off season.
MotoGP, and SBK make equal demands on the rider. It’s very hard work.
While Schumacher will never be ‘world class’ on a bike, his huge talent is undeniable…the ability to read the track & traffic and distinguish lines easily transcends the # of wheels.
Did anyone ever see the video of Mamola taking Schumacher for a ride on the 2 seat 990? The Ferrari brass was terrified!
Hayden drove Andrettis CART car a few years ago while Michael rode his RC51. Rossi drove Schumacherís Ferrari while he rode Rossiís M1…they all surprised many people

April 4, 2008 at 12:16 pm
(5) Scottie says:

Basem,

Remember that Hemingway also wrote Old Man and The Sea – 100 pages to catch a fish.

April 4, 2008 at 3:40 pm
(6) Hubba Jeff says:

Well Scottie, as far as Old Man and the Sea, it’s the journey, not the destination that matters…motorcyclists know this all too well.

I agree with Pete about good ol’ Schu. Although many F1 racers (ex-racers, mostly) will tell you that F1 these days is all technology, and the driver is merely along for the ride, Michael is one of those racer’s racers, like a German Mark Martin. He’ll race anything with wheels, and his natural quick thinking and learned instincts make him good at it. I only hope that with more practice, I can train my brain to work as fast as his on the track. Oh, and for those that don’t think motorcycle racing is a workout, try tossing a 400 lb bike around tight bends at 70+ mph in full leathers on 120 degree tarmac for a few laps. If you’re not used to it, your arms will feel like wet pasta, your hips might even be sore if you’re not in shape. It’s pretty athletic.

April 5, 2008 at 2:53 am
(7) James says:

“The lanky German”? At 5ft8 ( and 175lbs), he’s lankier than De Vito…but that’s about all.

April 5, 2008 at 11:22 am
(8) motorcycles says:

James,

Wow, you’re right (though I’ve found weight stats up to 164.5 lbs)… I guess television is thinning. ;-)

Basem

July 1, 2008 at 4:23 am
(9) Zik.Zak says:

Yes, the guy clearly looks like De Vito, no athlete at all. ;)

http://www.geocities.com/stephish_f1/gallery/offduty6/0784.jpg

http://www.geocities.com/stephish_f1/gallery/offduty5/0547.jpg

I think many of you would be surprised how fit F1 drivers actually are. Kovalianen ran the New York Marathon easily. As well as Trulli. F1 is probably the most sophisticated motorsport in the World and not just on the technical side but also by driver preparation. Fitness is taken very, very seriously and these days F1 drivers do the trainings that they do in many other professional sports. They are very much athletes. Schumacher was one of the frontrunners of this mentality.

July 1, 2008 at 4:24 am
(10) Zik.Zak says:

I think many of you would be surprised how fit F1 drivers actually are. Kovalianen ran the New York Marathon easily. As well as Trulli. F1 is probably the most sophisticated motorsport in the World and not just on the technical side but also by driver preparation. Fitness is taken very, very seriously and these days F1 drivers do the trainings that they do in many other professional sports. They are very much athletes. Schumacher was one of the frontrunners of this mentality.

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