Photos and footage of Valentino Rossi and Lewis Hamilton’s ride swap on December 9, 2019, have been tightly controlled so far. However, at last, we finally have onboard footage of a Hamilton lap of Valencia aboard Rossi’s M1. The verdict? He looks good!
Then again, just because he did apparently have an off at one point during the epic day doesn’t mean he didn’t recover just fine afterward. That’s one thing top-level racers of all disciplines have in common. Both Hamilton and Rossi have had their share of racing incidents over the years and both racers had the fortitude to get back up and go fast again.
In the video, you can see that Hamilton is pretty darn smooth at the controls. No harsh, jerky motions on display at all. We still don’t have any lap times available for any portion of this event from either racer. Therefore, we can speculate all we like about actual times—but of course, he’s likely doing better than many people would be in his situation.
There’s a lot of useful information we still don’t have about this track day, and may never have. Besides not knowing lap times, we also have no idea how many laps each racer did. Likewise, we don’t know which lap of Hamilton’s this is within the range of laps he must have done. It’s probably not the first lap, but how far along in the day is it?
While both racers are familiar with racing at Circuit Ricardo Tormo,the entire point is that they weren’t familiar with each other’s vehicles. While that’s true, we also don’t know if either racer had previously taken a different bike or car around the circuit. Obviously, there’s nothing quite like a MotoGP or F1 machine, but there’s most certainly a general difference between the overall sensations of riding or driving around any circuit.