Grapevine: Schumacher to test a MotoGP Ducati

Former World Champion Michael Schumacher will put to rest his difficult season on four-wheels, by jumping on top of a two-wheel monster

Grapevine: Schumacher to test a MotoGP Ducati

According to Gazzetta dello Sport, the Ferrari racer is scheduled to test the Ducati Desmosedici at the Mugello circuit in Italy today. The MotoGP bike has won the Japanese and Malaysian Grands Prix this year, at the hands of Italian Loris Capirossi.

Weather permitting, before jumping on top of the Desmosedici, Schumacher will first try a Ducati road bike and the Superbike. It's suggested he might also sit behind former GP rider Randy Mamola on the Ducati GP two-seater for a few laps.

Mamola always attends World Championship events to take VIP guests around the circuits on the two-seater Ducati, and he apparently rushed back to Italy last night to cater for the German, after attending the Turkish Grand Prix at Istanbul.

It's believed that Ferrari manager Jean Todt had given permission for Schumacher to try the bike only once the Formula One season was over, and on the condition that the test would take place on a track familiar to the German driver. This is one of the reasons why Mugello was chosen.

Schumacher, on the other hand, asked Ducati and Ferrari, who own Mugello, to hold this special test behind closed doors.

Ferrari and Ducati share similar livery and sponsors and are also very close geographically, with the motorcycle factory being in Borgo Panigale, right next to Bologna and just 25 miles away from Maranello.

Seven-time MotoGP Champion Valentino Rossi has tested for Ferrari several times in the last two years, and the Italian is touted to make a switch from two wheels to four.

And although a switch in the opposite direction could hardly be expected for 36-year-old Schumacher, he nevertheless joked about this possibility.

"Me on the bike? Why not, I think it's natural," he quipped after a charity football match in Padua last night. "If Valentino tests the Ferrari, then some day I could race on the bikes."

Schumacher, by the way, will also drive the Ferrari three-seater tomorrow at Fiorano, while his outgoing teammate Rubens Barrichello will have the honours today. The two will be carrying around privileged family members and friends.

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