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When MotoGP and F1 worlds combine!

While the motorsport world went into overdrive with Fernando Alonso going to the Indy 500, Lewis Hamilton says he wants to try MotoGP. Check out the most famous moments of F1 and MotoGP colliding.
While the motorsport world went into overdrive with the announcement of Fernando Alonso skipping the Monaco Grand Prix to contest his rookie Indianapolis 500, Lewis Hamilton made sure he kept himself in the headlines by stating he'd like to try a MotoGP race in the future.

Hamilton has long voiced his appreciation of the two-wheeled world – and collaborated in it with MV Agusta having launched the Dragster RR LH44 – and while making a number of guest appearances at MotoGP events he is yet to truly mix it with the likes of Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez.

But it is not such a far-flung idea as there have been a number of famous faces who have crossed codes between the highest level of motorcycle and car racing.

Jorge Lorenzo tests a Mercedes F1 car

The most recent crossover of MotoGP meeting F1 came at Silverstone when Lorenzo achieved his childhood dream of driving an F1 car when he completed a test day for Mercedes AMG Petronas in the 2014 world championship-winning W05 Hybrid.

The triple MotoGP world champion jumped at the opportunity to team up with Mercedes in October 2016 at the home of the British MotoGP and British Grand Prix where he was given the chance to drive in the team's simulator before taking to the track in the 2014 car which Hamilton secured the F1 world title with.

Lorenzo joined up with Mercedes through their mutual sponsor Monster Energy and impressed the Brackley-based squad with his instant and improving speed.

The Spaniard's fastest lap around the Silverstone International Circuit – a smaller configuration to the full Grand Prix layout - was a 50.452s.

Valentino Rossi matches F1 regulars in Ferrari test

Of course, Lorenzo isn't the only MotoGP world champion to try out F1, as Valentino Rossi famously tested for Ferrari in an Italian match made in heaven.

What made Rossi's test even more impressive was that he was on track alongside stars of the F1 world including Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso, Jacques Villeneuve and Jenson Button. Despite an early spin on day one in the Ferrari F2004, Rossi recovered on day two to post the ninth-fastest time of the day and was within one second of Schumacher – with the German in the 2006 Ferrari and Rossi in the two-year-old model.

John Surtees – the only world champion on two and four wheels

No mention of F1 and MotoGP crossovers would be complete without John Surtees. Following his seven world title wins on 350cc and 500cc motorbikes, Surtees would take another title on four wheels in F1 with the 1964 world drivers' championship with Ferrari.

But his four-wheeled title looked far from certain entering the final round as he trailed Graham Hill by five points. However, Hill got tangled in an incident at the start which saw Jim Clark look set to snatch the title away from both of his compatriots, only to suffer a late issue, allowing Surtees to come through and clinch the F1 world drivers' championship.

It completed a remarkable feat, and given the pressures of modern-day motorsport, it's unlikely we'll see anyone make the same kind of switch full-time – let alone be as successful.

A small nod should also go to Venezuelan Johnny Cecotto, who claimed the 1975 350cc motorcycle grand prix world title and went on to become European Formula Two runner-up in 1982 plus a Formula 1 points finisher in the four-wheeled world.

John Hopkins and Tonio Liuzzi enjoy F1-MotoGP swap

In October 2006, Rizla Suzuki's John Hopkins and Toro Rosso's Tonio Liuzzi completed the ultimate motorsport job swap when they went for a special high-speed taste of each other's racing world.

Hopkins more than impressed in the F1 car by setting a lap just five seconds off of a competitive lap time at Valencia while Liuzzi had some very choice words to express his delight riding the V4-powered 990cc Rizla Suzuki.

"It was an orgasm! It was amazingly cool! It was really great!" Liuzzi said. "I've always loved bikes but after today, I love them even more, because the guys who race these are unbelievable and not human.

“The bike is like a crazy horse and it is really difficult to keep the front end down. I was trying, but I kept something in reserve because I could feel the shadow of Franz and Gerhard (Toro Rosso team bosses Tost and Berger) telling me to be careful as I am testing in two weeks! I think you just need to take more risks than I was prepared to take today.”

by Haydn Cobb

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April 15, 2017 12:19 PM

Motogp riders are elite athletes who not only need super body strength to keep 350+ kmph missiles on track they also need high stamina to keep it up throughout the race ... while f1 cars are fast it doesn't need a driver to put his body in line for a direct impact on the contrary Motogp riders need balls of steel as they always risk a high side to moon or worse... When a Motogp rider try an f1 car it's just a safe way for them to have fun and if an f1 driver tries a Motogp bike it will just be the other way around. F1 drivers are good but Motogp riders are Gladiators


April 15, 2017 3:21 PM

Four wheels to four wheels is one thing, four wheels to two wheels, totally another. I am hoping Lewis Hamilton was just trying to be cute when he said he'd like to give MotoGP a try. He should try a local novice club race and see how he does. He is a beginner on two wheels. I could see Hamilton giving MotoGP a try, driving the safety car perhaps.

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