Lewis Hamilton continues his declaration of love for the two-wheeled world. The five-time Formula 1 world champion tested Yamaha R1 in its SBK configuration back in November, during a test at the Jerez track. This caused fans to start placing bets, also because the Brit has often been the subject of speculation about a possible future move to MotoGP.
During some press events in Barcelona, Lewis returned to the subject, telling Crash.net that he will be in the garages in Qatar for the first round of the MotoGP season, as a guest of Team Yamaha Petronas that shares its main sponsor with Mercedes.
"I continue to be a big bike fan and am excited to be able to be in Qatar. I don't think I'll be able to see all the races, but I'm interested to see how the riders work and how the qualifying format, different to ours, works."
An opportunity for Hamilton to get a close look at the work going on in the motorcycle world's top championship.
"I'll use the riders' feedback in order to learn, to experience something different"
Lewis then addressed speculation about his desire to move to MotoGP in the future.
"Don't give too much weight to the fact I'm old to race in MotoGP! I might not bounce like Marquez, who's younger, but I know I''d enjoy myself.'"
A declaration of intent? Not exactly. Back in November, Lewis confirmed he was thinking seriously about MotoGP, but he now adjusts his aim, although one thing does remain certain, or rather Hamilton's desire to test ride a MotoGP bike. A complicated project, particularly in terms of the logistics. Imagine the drama if Hamilton were to crash and hurt himself with the bike, while riding for fun. Something that Mercedes must guard against of course, especially in view of Hamilton's competitive streak.
The Brit would not limit himself to a few demonstration laps, as Fernando Alonso did during the Honda Days even in Japan, but would like to try and push to the limit. A very different matter.
Morbidelli and Quartararo have stated they are willing to 'lend' Hamilton their bikes for this kind of test, and Lewis' presence in Qatar only underlines the fact that this idea is still on the table. There has been no mention of a possible date, but considering the two race calendars, it's plausible that only December would work, once the two respective championships have concluded.