Last winter, Valentino Rossi tested a Ferrari F1 car with a possible view to racing in the world championship in seasons hence. Now, Toro Rosso's Vitantonio Liuzzi is to move in the opposite direction to see if two wheels really are better than four.

The Italian is to swap steeds with American MotoGP star John Hopkins, running the latter's Rizla Suzuki machine while the bike racer gets a taste of F1 power in the current STR01 as they share the Valencia circuit in southern Spain.

Liuzzi will cock his leg over the saddle of the Suzuki just two days after the Anglo-American races it in the final round of the MotoGP championship at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo.

Hopkins will take the wheel sporting a Rizla-blue racesuit and full-face helmet painted in his distinctive Red Bull colours, while Liuzzi, too, is having a special set of leathers made for the event. Unfortunately, the two racers will not get the chance to 'meet' on track on 31 October, but will have a chance to watch and evaluate each other's performance.

Like most Italians, Liuzzi is mad about bikes, using one to ride round the F1 race tracks prior to race weekends, as well as riding superbikes back in his native Italy, where he regularly heads out on the road on a Suzuki GSX-R750. He has also been know to indulge in the occasional track day - although such things are usually forbidden by F1 contracts!

"I'm looking forward to this very much," Liuzzi admitted, "I was supposed to do it earlier, but John had had an accident and it was not possible.

"I have had some preparation riding a 750 Suzuki round Silverstone, and riding in Valencia should be very interesting as I will be able to compare my times to what the 'real' racers did on the Sunday before."

Hopkins, like most bike racers, has yet to sample a thoroughbred F1 car, and is champing at the bit for the opportunity.

"It's the first time I've been given the chance to drive an F1 car properly and the team are telling me to give it a bit of throttle - which makes me excited, but a bit nervous too!" he smiled, "I think it will be a really interesting day, with Liuzzi on the bike and me in the car, and our respective crews having to work with different guys using their machines.

"It's going to be an experience of a lifetime and I'm really grateful to Red Bull and Rizla Suzuki for making it happen. I'm really pumped up for it and can't wait for it to happen!"