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Hamilton "building up" towards "dream" MotoGP test

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Hamilton "building up" towards "dream" MotoGP test
By:
Mar 10, 2019, 10:48 AM

Reigning Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton says he is “building up” towards a “dream” first MotoGP test, accepting he first needs more mileage on a racing bike.

Monster Energy, which sponsors Hamilton as well as the Yamaha MotoGP factory team, is pushing for a ride swap between him and seven-time premier-class champion Valentino Rossi – but Mercedes F1 sponsor Petronas also has its sights on a MotoGP test for Hamilton.

Hamilton was in attendance for qualifying for MotoGP's opening round of 2019 in Qatar as a guest of the Petronas-backed SRT Yamaha team, and has joked he may “nag Petronas to give me a ride on one of their bikes”.

Asked whether a MotoGP run was indeed a goal of his, Hamilton told motogp.com: “100 percent I'm going to ride one, I'm building up to it.

“I need more days [on a bike] firstly because I've only had two-and-a-half kind of days on the track, but eventually I'd love to try a MotoGP bike. That's the dream.

“I watch it every weekend it's on. Even when I'm on a grand prix weekend, I'm jumping out of my meetings before and after [F1] qualifying so I can watch the qualifying here.”

Hamilton trialled a Yamaha World Superbike R1 machine in a two-day test at Jerez last year, riding alongside works riders Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes.

Embedded within the Petronas SRT team this weekend in Qatar, he was seen sitting in on a post-qualifying debrief for its rider Franco Morbidelli.

“To meet Lewis was a great experience for me,” Morbidelli said. “I enjoyed a lot, and I was very surprised to see how he is as a person – he's a great person, very humble, very interested in this sport, very passionate.

“He did many questions about riding, about how is the bike, what you do here, what you do there, how the tyre consumption is.

“It was just nice, and it was a pity to not have enough time to speak more with him. But I enjoyed the moment, and I hope he enjoyed as well to live this moment inside the pitbox and to see how the two-wheel riders act.”

Morbidelli's teammate Fabio Quartararo, who qualified fifth on his MotoGP debut, said meeting his “F1 idol” Hamilton contributed to what was “one of the most beautiful days of my career”.

Additional reporting by Khodr Rawi

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Lewis Hamilton, Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT, Fabio Quartararo, Petronas Yamaha SRT

Lewis Hamilton, Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT, Fabio Quartararo, Petronas Yamaha SRT
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Photo by: Petronas Motorsports

Lewis Hamilton, Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT

Lewis Hamilton, Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT
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Photo by: Petronas Motorsports

Lewis Hamilton, Fabio Quartararo, Petronas Yamaha SRT

Lewis Hamilton, Fabio Quartararo, Petronas Yamaha SRT
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Photo by: Petronas Motorsports

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton
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Photo by: Uncredited

John McPhee, Lewis Hamilton, Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT

John McPhee, Lewis Hamilton, Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT
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Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Lewis Hamilton, Fabio Quartararo, Petronas Yamaha SRT

Lewis Hamilton, Fabio Quartararo, Petronas Yamaha SRT
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Photo by: Petronas Motorsports

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton
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Photo by: Petronas Motorsports

Lewis Hamilton, Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT

Lewis Hamilton, Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT
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Photo by: Petronas Motorsports

Datuk Razlan Razali, Petronas Yamaha SRT, Lewis Hamilton, Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO Dorna

Datuk Razlan Razali, Petronas Yamaha SRT, Lewis Hamilton, Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO Dorna
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Photo by: Petronas Motorsports

Datuk Razlan Razali, Petronas Yamaha SRT, Lewis Hamilton, Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO Dorna

Datuk Razlan Razali, Petronas Yamaha SRT, Lewis Hamilton, Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO Dorna
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Photo by: Petronas Motorsports

Lewis Hamilton, Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT, Fabio Quartararo, Petronas Yamaha SRT

Lewis Hamilton, Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT, Fabio Quartararo, Petronas Yamaha SRT
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Photo by: Petronas Motorsports

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