Michael Schumacher could make his World Superbike debut in 2009 after Honda Europe boss Carlo Fiorani indicated his wish to invite the seven-time Formula 1 world champion to compete with them.
Having hung up his Ferrari F1 overalls at the end of 2006, Schumacher has embarked on his 'hobby' of bike racing recently, most notably testing for Honda, Yamaha and Ducati WSBK teams in the past few weeks.
It has led to speculation that Schumacher, who has been earning his bike racing stripes in the German IDM Superbike series, could be interested in making an appearance on the world stage sometime soon.
His huge global profile would certainly make him a target for the likes of Honda, with whom Schumacher races with in Germany. Indeed, Fiorani told Gazzetta dello Sport
that he is happy to offer him a possible wild-card ride.
Even so, Schumacher, who was reported to be lapping within three seconds of Carlos Checa's pace when he tested the factory-backed Ten Kate Honda at Magny-Cours, is apparently not keen to pursue his new 'career' too fervently and he is yet to indicate his wish to compete in the series.
Still, Fiorani insists that all he would have to do is 'ask' and Honda will provide him the chance to make his WSBK bow.
“Michael is convinced that at the moment the German championship is the ideal level for him,” Fiorani, an ex-Ferrari man, told the Italian newspaper.
“We'll give him the maximum support, given that there the regulations don't allow for modifications. For the moment he hasn't asked us to run in the world championship in 2009, but if he wants to, there is already a bike ready for him. He only needs to ask for it.”