Imagine showing up for your local track day and finding Formula One car racing legend Michael Schumacher, MotoGP legend Randy Mamola, 19-time Isle of Man TT winner John McGuinness, rising MotoGP Pol Espargaro and Prodigy band member Keith Flint burning laps. That happened last week at the Paul Ricard Circuit in the south of France in a special track day arranged by Monster Energy and the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One team.
Michael Schumacher leads Randy Mamola during a track day at the Paul Ricard Circuit in the south of France last week.
"Riding with Michael was so good," said McGuinness. "What he's achieved on four wheels makes him the Godfather of motorsport. I wasn't expecting him to be anything less, but he's fast! You can see his enthusiasm for motorcycles and it was a massive pleasure to spend the day with him."
The compliment was emphatically returned by seven-time F1 World Champion Schumacher.
"Coming here today I felt so proud to be able to turn my hand at riding a bike with guys I really admire," the German said. "I can't begin to explain how much fun it was to ride the track with the likes of John, Randy, Keith and watching Pol Espargaro's huge talent."
For once it was Flint looking on wide-eyed at an all-star cast in front of him. The man's no stranger to bikes having been an active member of racing paddocks for several years and knows enough about charging on two wheels to sit up and take notice.
"Today I was truly able to use the word ‘legend' to describe the company I was keeping; both from four and two wheels," Flint said. "As I pulled out of the pit lane I mentally pinched myself as I followed out Randy Mamola, Michael Schumacher and a true gladiator in John McGuinness. That Espargaro kid is a bit of a handful too isn't he?"