WSBK: Honda has room for Schumacher

“He just has to ask for it,” says Honda racing chief

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Nov. 14, 2008
Honda Racing has a CBR1000RR for Michael Schumacher to race in the 2009 World Superbike Championship, if the seven-time Formula One Champion wants it.

“He just has to ask for it,” Honda Europe chief Carlo Fiorani told Italian sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport. Before heading Honda’s racing efforts, Fiorani had previously worked with Ferrari, the team that Schumacher earned five consecutive F1 titles with from 2000-2004.

Since his retirement from F1 racing in 2006, Schumacher has taken up motorcycle racing as a hobby. Schumacher was a wildcard entrant in a handful of races in Germany’s national Superbike series, Internationale Deutsche Motorradmeisterschaft (IDM) with a Honda team.

“Michael is sure that at the moment the German championship is his ideal arena. We’ll give him all the support we can, accepting that German regulations don’t permit modifications,” Fiorini told La Gazzetta.Michael Schumacher met with WSBK Champion Troy Bayliss between races at the season finale in Portimao. “For now, he’s not asked us to race in the 2009 World Championship, but if he wants, there’s already a bike earmarked for him.”

In September, Schumacher tested World Superbike racer Carlos Checa’s Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR at the Magny-Cours circuit in France. Schumacher also took part in the post-season tests in Portimao, Portugal on Nov. 3, riding World Champion Troy Bayliss’ Ducati 1098 F08 and the Yamaha YZF-R1 machines of Noriyuki Haga and Troy Corser.

In the past, Schumacher has downplayed any rumors of taking up motorcycle racing full-time, saying two-wheel racing was only a hobby.

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