Despite vowing never to race on two wheels again, Michael Schumacher is back on the saddle of a powerful racing motorcycle.
German reports say the newly re-retired seven time world champion tried to keep his test outing this week at the Valencia circuit strictly secret.
But DPA news agency, and other news outlets, say Schumacher was definitely at full speed on a 220 horse power Honda, with the Holzhauer team.
In 2009 – during his first retirement from Formula 1 – Schumacher was seriously injured when he crashed a similar bike.
It prevented him from filling in for Felipe Massa following the Brazilian’s Hungaroring qualifying crash, and Schumacher vowed never to return to full speed on two wheels again.
His manager Sabine Kehm says now: “Yes, he rides motorcycles again but he will not race anymore.”
Speed Week claims Schumacher’s best test lap at Valencia was only 4 seconds slower than the very best motorcycle racers in action on the same day.
Schumacher has revealed he will be watching this weekend’s Formula 1 season opener from the comfort of his lounge.
“I’m obviously still closely connected to the Mercedes team,” he told his website this week, “but not in a specific role and not at the track.” (GMM)