Michael Schumacher: the biker
It’s an old story: retired man gets into motorbikes. TG.com heads to Paul Ricard to see what the F1 legend is up to next…
Posted: 12 Dec 2012
In his first year Schumacher came within two seconds of the IDM's top riders. Michael believes there's a ten per cent difference in sensitivity to feedback, skill and difficulty between racing bikes at the top level versus racing cars. This ten per cent difference comes across in lap times. Take the time MotoGP star Valentino Rossi had a go in Ferrari's F1 car at Circuit de Catalunyain in 2008. He was just over two tenths down on the circuit's fastest lap time - set by Kimi Raikkonen. So Schumacher getting within ten per cent off the top riders times in IDM, he believes, was on pace for his ability.
"I was very much happy, I was able to feel the rear tyre, I was putting that to the limit and I felt comfortable. I had my knees down, the right body angle and that was a great sensation." And it wasn't just the visceral physical feeling that Michael enjoyed, there was a psychological thrill, too. "There are some similarities with race craft between cars and bikes. There's the approach mentally on how to maximize and develop yourself. You need some way of approach to look and analyse yourself in order to go forward." So bikes offered a new challenge for him.