F1 star Lewis Hamilton is 'super excited' for December's seat-swap with MotoGP's Valentino Rossi.

Hamilton is to get his long-awaited chance to try a MotoGP machine by riding a Yamaha at Valencia on December 9, with Rossi taking to the track in one of the Englishman's Mercedes F1 cars. The swap is being organised by Monster.

"I’m super excited about it," Hamilton said.

"Just being on the same track at the same time as Valentino is going to be very, very surreal, and a real honour, because he’s such an icon in the sport, and he’s done so much. It’ll be cool to see him in my car as well.

"I’ve been riding bikes for the last couple of years. I’ve only done three days on them on the track, but they have been incredible, and I’m always watching MotoGP.

"There’s a small group of us in the team that love riding, and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do since I was young. It’s really hardcore."

Eager to make the most of the MotoGP chance, Hamilton is understood to planning several days on track with the Crescent Yamaha World Superbike team, to familiarise himself with riding a motorcycle around the Spanish circuit.

Hamilton previously joined Crescent for a track day at Jerez in December 2018, riding an R1M alongside the team's WorldSBK riders Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark.

Lowes has now switched to Kawasaki, but van der Mark could again provide two-wheel advice to Hamilton at Valencia, just before flying out to Malaysia to take part in the Sepang 8 Hours endurance race from December 10-14

The choice of Valencia in December means Hamilton and Rossi will need to be wary of chilly temperatures causing slippery conditions, something that has often proved problematic during the post-season MotoGP tests.

Rossi made half-a-dozen appearances in a Ferrari grand prix car from 2004-2010, including alongside the F1 regulars at Valencia in 2006, while flirting with a switch to F1.

Due to the F1 testing regulations, the Mercedes driven by Rossi next month needs to be at least two years old. Crash.net understands it will be the 2017 machine, which would be faster and offer more downforce than any F1 car he has driven before.

Rossi finally closed the door on an F1 move in 2013, the year he returned to Yamaha, saying 'I'm too old, the train has passed'.

The 40-year-old has won seven titles in motorcycling's premier-class, the most recent in 2009.

Hamilton, 34, wrapped up his sixth F1 title this season.

Additional reporting by Julianne Cerasoli.

 

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