Michael Schumacher's two-wheel apprenticeship continued to gather pace this week after he was allowed to test with the Ten Kate Honda World Superbike team in France.
The seven-time Formula 1 World Champion has been a regular sight on motorcycles since his retirement at the end of 2006 and has been riding a Honda in the IDM Superbike Series.
As such, the German legend was given the chance to sample Carlos Checa's CBR1000RR run by World Superbike reigning champions Ten Kate at Magny-Cours, the venue for the next round of the series.
For Schumacher, he was curious to sample the professionalism of a top level team, as well as act as team-mate to his friend Checa for one day.
“It was interesting to see how a professional superbike team works. It was difficult to understand the machinery fully with such a short amount of time but it was a great experience. It was also good to be a team-mate with Carlos who I have known for a number of years. I would like to thank Mr ten Kate for giving me the opportunity to try things out.”
Team manager Ronald ten Kate, meanwhile, admits he was a little wary about loaning one of his machines out to a relative novice, but was willing to make an exception for Schumacher.
“I'm always a little nervous letting someone ride our bikes before the end of the season, but with Michael, I was happy to make an exception. He's proved to be more than capable of handling the power of our CBR1000RR and he's really a very good rider.”
According to Gazetta dello Sport
, Schumacher was around four seconds off the pace of Checa and Ryuichi Kiyonari, with a lap time of 1min 44secs.