Reigning five-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton made his latest visit to a MotoGP as a guest of the new Petronas Yamaha Sepang team on Saturday in Qatar.

A renowned bike fan who hopes to try a MotoGP machine - there are rumours it will happen at the end of this year - Hamilton met Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli for the first time, then watched them qualify a strong fifth and eighth on the team's grand prix debut.

After the session, the Englishman listened-in during their debrief with engineers and the trio also swapped helmets before Hamilton continued his journey to next weekend's F1 season-opener in Australia.

"It’s been an awesome evening," Hamilton said. "I can’t express how much I love watching MotoGP.

"I have pure admiration for the riders and what they’re able to achieve with these bikes. I’m really grateful to Petronas for having me here for their first race.”

"It was very nice to meet Lewis, to have a chat with him, and it was very surprising for me to see the person he is, the passion he has for this sport, and how humble he is," Morbidelli said. "And how interested he is in these things. So he was very interested and he was trying to follow what I said. And I hope he had fun, I definitely had fun meeting him."

"[He asked] many questions about riding and about how the bike is, what do you do here, what do you do there, how is the tyre consumption. Many questions. I didn't give him any tips, I just gave him data, I gave him facts. I just replied to him about how I act on the bike, or how I react if something happens."

Morbidelli and Quartararo also hope to get the chance to visit Hamilton at an F1 event in the near future.

"I would love to see a F1 race, maybe Monza. Why not? I would love to," Morbidelli said.

Rookie Quartararo added: "I am really happy to have met a person who has been my idol in Formula One for years, and especially to be able to swap helmets with him.

"I would love to make it to an F1 Grand Prix, I am a big fan of the series and I try not to miss a single race.

"Lewis Hamilton is a great driver, with a sixth sense for the right line, speed, braking… I am sure he would love it on a motorcycle too.

"I wish him the best of luck for his season."

 

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