Grapevine: Ducati chief praises Schumacher

Ducati team manager Livio Suppo praised Michael Schumacher after the German driver rode a MotoGP bike on Monday

Grapevine: Ducati chief praises Schumacher

Ferrari's Schumacher spent a day in Valentino Rossi's world when he tested the bike for the first time at the Mugello circuit.

Schumacher opened the session gently, lapping the Italian MotoGP circuit at around two minutes and 40 seconds.

Under the supervision of Suppo and former rider Randy Mamola, the seven-time champion completed a total of 42 laps with a best of 2:05.98, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

"He's having plenty of fun and he's going fast too: on the straight he immediately went over 300km/h," Suppo told the Italian newspaper.

"That was very good. Here, with a Ducati 999 road bike, Troy Bayliss did a 2:03. This was the first time for Michael on a GP bike, so you can only applaud him."

Schumacher's session was not error-free, however, the German going off track three times during the day. Only once he stalled the bike, though, and the team were forced to take it back to the pits on a truck.

Ducati are based in Bologna, near Ferrari's Maranello factory, and share the same title sponsor as the Italian Formula One team as well as the same tyre and fuel partners.

"I'd been looking forward to this for a long time," commented Schumacher. "It was worth it, super fun."

Among the small crowd following proceedings were test drivers Luca Badoer, Marc Gene and Andrea Bertolini, as well as Schumacher's father Rolf.

While Schumacher was having fun on two wheels, teammate Rubens Barrichello said farewell to Ferrari by taking his family and friends for rides in a Ferrari three-seater Formula One car.

The Brazilian was sorry to miss the opportunity to test the Ducati.

"If I didn't have this important engagement with my family, I would also have stayed there to try out the bikes, as I had been offered," he said. "Michael is 25 seconds slower than Valentino's record? I guess he doesn't want to take risks and takes care of his safety, and perhaps he's not turning the way you're supposed to.

"I'm sure my delay would have been 15 seconds because I really like riding bikes, on a track as well. Some time ago, in a challenge against my friend Alex Barros, I was only seven seconds slower. But maybe he was only fooling around."

shares
comments
Stoddart rules out 2006 involvement

Previous article

Stoddart rules out 2006 involvement

Next article

Tyre makers undecided on future

Tyre makers undecided on future
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Mick Schumacher
Author Michele Lostia
Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish” Plus

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish”

We’ve seen five distinct versions of Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes as he’s tried to fulfil his own ambitions while being a consummate team player – two difficult, competing missions which have been challenging to reconcile. Speaking exclusively to STUART CODLING, Bottas explains his highs and lows… and why he still believes he can be world champion

Formula 1
May 15, 2021
Does Aston have a case in F1 2021’s big technical row? Plus

Does Aston have a case in F1 2021’s big technical row?

Aston Martin claims Formula 1’s latest technical tweaks have cost it competitiveness – and that it’s the innocent victim of a regulatory stitch-up aimed at pegging back Mercedes. But is any of this actually true? It depends on who you ask, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
May 14, 2021
How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean? Plus

How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But is their rivalry destined to end in broken shards of carbon fibre?

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight Plus

What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight

OPINION: Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have recovered from their pre-season woes to take three wins from the opening four races of 2021. But each time Red Bull and Max Verstappen have pushed them hard. So, what clues did the latest round of that battle – the Spanish Grand Prix – tease about the next stage of the season?

Formula 1
May 12, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Plus

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Plus

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Plus

How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021