The Honda Ron Haslam Race School, based at Silverstone, recently had two extra special guests in the form of former F1 drivers Martin Brundle and Derek Warwick, who accepted an invitation to train under the supervision of 'Rocket' Ron on the new CBR600RR ABS.
With Brundle and Warwick already bike licence holders, they signed-up for one of the School's Premier training courses.
Learning how to improve their skills on a bike and understand the finer points of riding, the F1 pairing came away with not just an education on how to be better and safer riders, but also a greater admiration for bike racers.
“It was a tremendous day," said Brundle, who now commentates on F1 for the BBC. "I expected to leave Silverstone with ten times more confidence and riding twice as fast. I actually left as a better and safer rider and with a lot more respect for how bikes can bite you if you don't respect them.
"Talking to Ron, I learned how much you have to use your body to control the bike. I learned how to sit properly and move on a motorbike and the dynamics of bike riding. I like riding a bike because it makes me feel more like when I was racing. Ron was brilliant and I kept thinking 'This is Ron Haslam - I'm right behind Ron Haslam!”
“It was the most fantastic day of my life!" added Warwick. "My admiration for bike racers has always been high but this experience has taken me to another level. Anybody who rides a bike on the road should do a course like this. Today has taught me how to be a better rider. Without Ron in front we'd definitely have crashed. I always wanted to feel the back hopping under hard braking - wait until I tell my mates!”
Ron Haslam made his grand prix debut at Silverstone in 1977, riding a 500cc Suzuki in the British Grand Prix. He finished third behind Randy Mamola and Eddie Lawson at the British Grand Prix in 1984.
After taking on the task of training two former Formula One drivers, Haslam said: “I believe I stretched them! I was proud to have Martin and Derek at the Race School; it's great to have sporting personalities here and for them to have such an enthusiasm for bikes. They were very quick, had a natural talent and we took them to their limits in the wet conditions. They enjoyed it so much, I understand they want to come back and have another go under dry conditions, which would give them yet another set of skills.”