Michael Schumacher has ruled out an appearance in the World Superbike Championship this season, despite assurances from Honda that there is a ride waiting for him.
The seven-time Formula 1 World Champion has embarked on a low-profile career of motorcycle racing in recent years, a new direction that saw him compete in the 2008 German IDM Superbike Championship with Honda.
However, Schumacher went on to raise speculation of a possible wild-card ride when he tested for Ten Kate Honda, Ducati Xerox and Yamaha towards the end of the 2008 WSBK season,
Furthermore, the admission from Honda Europe boss Carlo Fiorani that there was a bike waiting for him should he wish to take it added further fuel to the fire that he would re-appear on the world stage.
However, Schumacher has shrugged off the rumours by insisting that he is not interested in doing anything more than watching World Superbikes.
“No, I'm discounting that,” he told Gazetta dello Sport
when quizzed about a possible WSBK appearance. “Maybe I'll go to watch, but not to race.”
Speaking at the Race of Champions event, where he helped Germany to the Nations Cup, Schumacher nonetheless added that he would like to challenge MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi in an RoC-style event in the future – or even on bikes…
“It's fun; I like racing on a track inside a stadium. I enjoy the challenge of going up against so many drivers from different disciplines. It wouldn't disappoint me at all to be able to take him [Valentino] on here, given that he's quick in cars too – but I could also take him on in motorbikes…”