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Grapevine: Schumacher rules out bike victory

Retired Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher has ruled out any chance of winning when he takes part in his first competitive motorbike race in Italy on Sunday

The 39-year-old German, whose seven titles and 91 Grand Prix wins make him Formula One's most successful driver, said he would be happy just to make the starting grid for the KTM minor series race at the Misano circuit on Italy's Adriatic coast.

"Here it will be impossible to win, there are real and well-prepared riders, practically professional. I will just be happy to qualify," the ex-Ferrari driver told Saturday's Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.

Schumacher, who has tested a Ducati MotoGP bike since retiring from Formula One at the end of 2006, will ride a 990cc KTM Super Duke in the 10-lap KTM Trophy race at the challenging circuit.

Misano also hosts a round of both the MotoGP and world superbike championships later in the year.

"This is just for enjoyment, no one is obliging me to do it. Maybe I will stop here," said Schumacher.

The German, an advisor and occasional test driver for Formula One champions Ferrari, has some experience of racing on two wheels but said Sunday was for real with 400 riders gathering for a weekend of competition.

"A week ago in Hungary and the other day in Barcelona were only non-competitive races," he said.

"In Spain there were some boys on motorbikes and I asked to do a little race. I finished in front but they were young boys. This instead will be a real race, the first official one I've done on a bike."

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