Rossi impressed by Hamilton during MotoGP try out

Both Rossi and Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis have praised Hamilton after his day in the saddle of the factory MotoGP machine

Rossi Hamilton ride swap

VALENTINO Rossi has praised Lewis Hamilton after the two world champions swapped roles on Monday at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia earlier this week.

The seven-time MotoGP champion and six-time F1 titleholder exchanged their W08 Mercedes AMG F1 car and a full factory Yamaha YZR-M1, with Hamilton stepping onto this level of machinery for the first time, with Rossi driving an F1 machine for the first time since 2007.

Hamilton is no stranger to track riding on a motorcycle, having been a brand ambassador for MV Agusta for some time, and trying out a GYTR-spec Yamaha YZF-R1 with the Crescent WSBK team earlier this year. After the ride, Hamilton was gushing with praise for his two-wheeled hero, he said:



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“It was so cool to be out on track and see Valentino ahead of me on the same bike," said Hamilton, who did enough to impress Rossi.

“Technically, Valencia is a hard track and today was windy so at one point I thought it would be difficult for Lewis to continue,” said Rossi.

Yamaha MotoGP boss Lin Jarvis was “very impressed” by Hamilton’s performance, saying:

“How many four-wheel champions could come here and get on an M1, go out there, and do themselves proud?” he said. “It’s very difficult to ride a motorcycle fast on track and even more challenging and demanding to ride a factory Moto GP bike.”

As well as taking on each other’s machines, the pair also put in some track time together, with Rossi and Hamilton sharing the track on the MotoGP machinery. “What stood out to me the most was the moment when he and Valentino were out, really close together, side by side on their M1s,” said Jarvis. “Lewis has said that he’s been a fan of Moto GP and Valentino for years. It was his wish to ride on track together with Valentino and to have the experience one day to ride an M1, and he got both wishes at the same time.

Rossi said driving the W08, Mercedes 2017 F1 car, was “a spectacular opportunity for me.”

“I have tried an F1 car before, but much has changed since then,” he added. “Sincerely, I was impressed with the car and its handling, as well as with the Mercedes-AMG motorsport team, who were great to work with. They were very welcoming and made it easy for me to get familiar with the car.

“At first you get an amazing sensation of speed. The G-forces were not so bad, but it takes some getting used to. Once I got into the rhythm I could really push. It was a great pleasure. I felt like a real F1 driver for a day. I didn’t want the day to end.”

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