Lewis Hamilton and Valentino Rossi completed their ride swap and track day at Valencia earlier this week, and both motorsport greats were beaming with joy.
With 15 world titles between them, it was a meeting of legends between the six-time F1 world champion and the MotoGP icon, both sponsored by Energy Monster, and a high-octane remake of the Hollywood classic Trading Places.
While Hamilton saddled the 2019 Yamaha MotoGP YZR-M1 that Rossi raced last month at Valencia, the Italian was onboard a 2017 championship-winning Mercedes W08.
Hamilton was on site last Sunday to prepare for his test, with the help of Yamaha Petronas rider and Rossi protégé Franco Morbidelli.
Both Hamilton and Rosso took turns alone on the track before lapping the 4.00km Circuit Ricardo Tormo track together.
“It’s so awesome to see a legend like Valentino in the car,” said Hamilton. “I’m excited for him, for discovering the car for the first time.
“[It] reminds me of my first time in an F1 car. When you see all the team around you, it’s just a different animal.”
The F1 mega star also followed Rossi’s lead during the day as the pair took to the track on their two-wheel machines.
“It was so cool to be out on track and see Valentino ahead of me on the same bike,” enthused the Briton.
Rossi is no stranger to F1 machinery, having tested on several occasions with Ferrari. But it was the Italian’s first experience of a modern hybrid Grand Prix car.
“I was a big fan of Lewis’ before but now I am even more,” said Rossi. “We had a fantastic day, where the two top classes of motorsports not only met but worked together.
“I felt like a real F1 driver for a day. I didn’t want the day to end. “I also rode the YZR-M1 on track with Lewis. It was a proud moment for the team to share our passion with him.
“Technically, Valencia is a hard track and today was windy so, at one point, I thought it would be difficult for Lewis to continue, but he was brilliant on the bike and his position on the M1 was great. I think he had loads of fun, which is the main thing.”
Check out the video below – a longer version of the footage we posted earlier – of the meeting of the titans.
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