M. Schumacher stuns with MotoGP pace

Tue, 6 November 2007, 12:26

Michael Schumacher on Monday stunned observers at the Valencia circuit by setting competitive lap times on the saddle of Casey Stoner’s championship-winning Ducati MotoGP bike.

As a host of guest riders tested the grand prix machinery at the Spanish circuit following the conclusion of the 2007 season, the former formula one seven time world champion came close to just five seconds off Valencia winner Dani Pedrosa’s fastest lap at the end of his 58-lap test.

Schumacher, 38, wearing a plain orange riding suit and white helmet, proved radically improved since his Ducati test in 2005; fully leaning into the corners and putting to good effect the tips of experts he consulted in the pits.

“I remember the last time I was riding and I was about 15 seconds slower than what you could do, so I thought maybe if I could run within ten seconds, that would nice,” he said afterwards in Spain, according to Motorcycle News (MCN).

Following wild theories that he might replace Fernando Alonso at McLaren next year, meanwhile, he also fended off speculation that he could be good enough to race in MotoGP.

“I’m just doing this for fun. I don’t want to race,” Schumacher insisted.

He also played down any comparison between MotoGP and formula one.

“It is like being on earth and going to the moon,” Schumacher smiled.

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