The Italian Almanac

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Michael Schumacher

Italian News - October 25

Ferrari's Michael Schumacher spent a day in Valentino Rossi's world on Monday when he tested a MotoGP bike for the first time at the Mugello circuit. After MotoGP champion Rossi's recent tests in a Ferrari Formula One car, Schumacher tried out a Ducati similar to the one used by Italy's Loris Capirossi to win back-to-back races in Japan and Malaysia earlier this year.

The seven times world champion opened the session gently, lapping the Italian MotoGP circuit at around two minutes and 40 seconds. By the end he was almost 30 seconds faster but still nowhere near the record of one minute 49.223 seconds held by Yamaha's Rossi, who has already clinched a fifth successive title this season. "It was just for fun," said a Ferrari spokesman.

Ducati are based in Bologna, near Ferrari's Maranello factory, and share the same title sponsor as the Italian Formula One team as well as the same tyre and fuel partners. "I'd been looking forward to this for a long time," commented Schumacher. "It was worth it, super fun."