Renault Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo is keen to gain more experience on a road-racing motorbike after completing a friendly run-out with Sete Gibernau earlier this month.

Ricciardo linked up with team sponsor Alpinestars to sample some 100cc minibikes at two-time MotoGP world championship runner-up Gibernau's private test track, giving him a first taste of motorbike techniques and riding styles.

"As a kid, Mum wouldn’t let me ride two wheels because she was scared, basically, and she thought four wheels was enough," Ricciardo explained when asked about his test by Crash.net in Germany.

"As I got older, I think I gained a bit of trust and started doing a bit more dirt bike riding and stuff, but I never did road bike riding. That’s one thing Mum would never let me have, a road bike, and I didn’t really want one because it is quite dangerous with other people on the road, but I thought if I ever get the chance to go on a track, that would be awesome.

"Getting back with Alpine Stars this year, they were like you have to try it. They set it up with Sete Gibernau, and we rode at his private track. Little 100cc bikes, so nothing crazy, but it was enough to learn how to use your body a bit and slide the knee. It was so, so cool.

"It’s so different to what we know, but the one thing in common is the speed and the feeling of pushing something to the edge. It’s a motorsport, so even though it’s so different and strange, the love and the desire to do more is really high.

"I enjoyed that. I want to do it again. It was cool. It was very fun."

Asked if it had given him greater respect for riders operating at the top levels of motorbike racing, Ricciardo said: "Oh yeah, yeah. I’ve always respected the guys on two wheels, even if I never did it, I feel I could always understand how hard it would be.

"The biggest thing, even on the minibike, is getting your elbow anywhere close to the ground. I was probably half a metre from the ground with the elbow. And now these guys, I think with [Marc] Marquez and his style on the big bikes, they’re getting that low and dragging an elbow. I think their flexibility and the dexterity of their body, and the physique, how they’re able to hang off the bike that well and hang on, and these guys weigh like 55 kilos.

"Everyone says race car drivers, we’re brave and crazy, but two-wheel guys are completely on another level. They are another level."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Road trackin’ for the first time. Loved! @gopro

A post shared by Daniel Ricciardo (@danielricciardo) on

While Ricciardo is keen to get more experience on the minibikes, he doubted he would be stepping up to anything bigger in the near future.

"I would always stay within my limits! I’m going to stay on the 100cc bikes for now - I don’t want to give Cyril [Abiteboul, Renault's team boss] any more heart attacks!" Ricciardo said.

"I guess it comes with age, but you know your limits and I understand I think my limits and my body and my risks and that very well. A lot of people can say wasn’t that dangerous riding it a week before a race, but it’s dangerous if you’re being dangerous.

"They go probably 80 km/h, so you can be sensible if you want to be sensible."

Ricciardo's video on Instagram led to praise from nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi, who said he had "great style".

 

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