Friday, December 21, 2007

Schuey’s Excellent Adventure continues

Although seven times World Champion Michael Schumacher appears to be most definitely “Permanently Retired” from Formula 1, the 38 year old German has been making quite a spectacle of himself lately by celebrating the holidays in non-traditional style.

Schuey decided to brush off the cobwebs by jumping aboard a “Real Scooter” in Valencia, Spain. You see this wasn’t Schuey’s normal bike of choice, as the German has a penchant for Harley’s.

Instead Michael was being handed over 2007 MOTO GP Champion Casey Stoner’s Ducati! Desmosedici GP7. Schuey showed up for testing the day after the MOTO GP’s season finale and ran a total of 58 laps, in what the German claimed was just for fun…

With a best lap time clocked at 1:37.89 seconds. “Astonishingly, the lap was just a nick above five seconds slower than Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa’s new lap record at the circuit, a lap he set while winning the Valencia MotoGP Grand Prix.

Talk about your power to weight ratios, as the Ducati GP7 V-4 800cc, 320lb two wheeler pumps out 200bhp, with a maximum velocity of 192mph! To which Michael said was much more enjoyable to ride over the 999cc Desmosedici he’d previously tested at the Mugello circuit in Italy.

Schumacher told MCN: “I remember the last time I was riding and I was about 15 seconds slower than what you could do, so I thought maybe I could run within 10 seconds that would be nice. But I’m just doing this for fun. I don’t want to race.”
And when asked to compare MotoGP with Formula 1, Schumacher replied: “It’s like being on the Earth and going to the moon.”

After coming back down to Planet Earth, Herr Schumacher blew the field away in Formula One’s first winter test, being fastest all three day’s in Jerez, Spain. Having had so much fun behind the wheel of his normal office confines, Schuey decided to take part in further Formula 1 testing at Barcelona, where the final day saw German countryman Sebastian Vettel top the time sheets.

In-between Formula 1 testing, Schumacher took part in ex-teammate Felipe Massa’s charity go-karting challenge held at the Ingleses kart track in Florianopolis, Brazil. Competing against the likes of Felipe Massa, Rubens Barrichello, Luciano Burti, Riccardo Zonta, Tony Kanaan, Roberto Moreno, Gil De Feran, etc.

Michael won the first heat, started 8th in the second heat, moving up to second place before finishing 6th, becoming this year’s winner of the International Challenge of Go-Kart Champs, his first race outing since retiring from Formula 1.

Then needing to spend a little “Quality Time” with the family, Michael, wife Corina and their two daughters showed up in Coburg, Bavaria to retrieve their newest hoound. On the way back to the airport, apparently Michael found the cabbie’s pace a little too slow for his liking. Thus Michael enticed the cab driver into letting him take over the wheel and gave his passengers a white knuckle drive in order to make their apparently tight flight departure time.

Next Schumacher participated in this past weekend’s Race Of Champions (ROC) outing at Wembley stadium in London. With a crowd of 55,000 spectators looking on, Schuey defeated Henning Solberg in Round 1 in identically prepared specialty Solution F cars produced just for this event. Schuey climbed all the way to the finals in the individual competition. Where he squared-off against last year’s Champion of Champions Mattias Ekstrom.

Schuey ran into trouble, spinning in the final round of three races to finish runner-up to Ekstrom in the individual challenge.

Mattias Ekstrom:
"For me, Michael Schumacher is one of the world's greatest racers. To beat him in the same equipment is an incredible experience I won't forget for a long time," said the elated Swede after notching his back-to-back ROC titles.”

Schumacher had better luck in the Nation’s Cup challenge, beating reigning two time RASSCAR Champion Jimmy Johnson in round 1, before his teammate Sebastian Vettel carried the ball for the duo, winning the Cup title against Finland’s Marcus Gronholm. Schuey and Vettel celebrated by dancing on the roof of their Solution F mobile…

Ah, the lifestyles of the “Rich ‘N Famous!” Wonder what Michael will do next “Just for Fun, eh?”