Up-and-coming Red Bull F1 driver Tonio Liuzzi was one of Randy Mamola's lucky passengers on the Ducati Marlboro two-seater at a sun-blessed Italian Grand Prix on Sunday morning.

The Italian joined Nelson Piquet Junior, another bright young hope of the car world, and reigning Miss Italy, Cristina Chiabotto, in some high speed laps of the stunning Mugello circuit.

Confident that Liuzzi and Piquet were up to some serious high-speed riding, Mamola rode as hard as he could with the car racers: "The only time I've ever ridden the two-seater harder was when I had Luca Cadalora with me here, and he's a former 250 World Champion," stated Randy, a 13-time 500 GP winner.

Afterwards, Liuzzi spoke of his delight at his first taste of MotoGP action: "I love adrenaline and that was pure adrenaline," grinned the 24-year-old Italian. "It's a different kind of craziness from F1, just awesome. It's incredible what these guys do on bikes, especially when there's such a fine line between going fast and crashing!

"The way Randy controlled the bike, braking deep into corners, then having the thing sliding around on the exit was incredible," he beamed. "We were so far over that I felt like my face was on the ground, and the wind was so strong on the straight that I thought we'd take off. Now I realise the kind of kick that bikes can give you I'm going to buy another road bike!"

Nineteen-year-old Piquet Junior, son of the former F1 World Champion and a contender in the 2005 GP2 championship, was similarly gobsmacked by his experience.

"I did a parachute jump last week and I thought that was crazy but this was much worse!" he smiled. "Just hanging on was really difficult. I can't even imagine what it's like riding 15-seconds a lap faster on your own."

Miss Italy (lower pic) reckons her two-seater experience will stay with her for the rest of her life: "It was a big emotion, even better than I had expected, something I will never ever forget," said Chiabotto, from Turin. "Thanks to Ducati for this amazing experience, thanks also to Randy, I'm proud to have ridden with him, he was great!"

 

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