Marquez eyes 'champion vs champion' clash with Hamilton


Five-time MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez has reacted positively to the idea of a head-to-head battle with his Formula 1 counterpart Lewis Hamilton at some point in the future.

“Of course! It would be interesting - face-to-face, first an F1 car and then a motorbike!"

Marquez has already had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a Toro Rosso F1 car. And Hamilton is himself has long been a keen motorcyclist, and has attended MotoGP events in the past as a spectator.

All of that suggests that the prospect of a future automotive champions league clash could be a very real possibility.

"I know he rides a bike and rides really well," Marquez told Britain's Daily Mail website this week ahead of the British MotoGP at Silverstone.

“I speak to him by social media sometimes," he added. "I look forward to meeting him at a minimum. We were very close [to meeting] last year, but we had compromises and couldn’t make it work."

Hamilton isn't the only current F1 driver who is drawn to motorbikes. Last year Red Bull stepped in to warn Max Verstappen that trying out a MotoGP bike was off-limits due to the risk of injury.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc was also impressed by his first taste of the two-wheel sport at Mugello in June, leading him to declare that "I now absolutely want to try one of these bikes!"

Meanwhile Marquez said that he had enjoyed his own first taste of F1 in June 2018, and that he was keen for more.

"I tested at the Red Bull Ring in a Toro Rosso car," he recalled. "It was a really nice experience. I drove 40 laps and it was a real test.

"The speed was there but I lack the experience. I knew the layout of the track, but the braking points and downforce was the most difficult thing to understand."

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 arrives in the paddock on his motorbike.

Marquez said that he felt it would be possible to get up to speed as a typical modern racing facility, but that somewhere like the streets of Monaco would be a totally different matter.

"I could get used to it at a normal circuit," he speculated. "But not Monaco!"

"To drive an F1 car at a normal circuit it's okay, you can find the limit," he explained. "But in the middle of the city, like Monaco, it is more difficult."

Meanwhile Marquez has business closer to home to attend to, as he closes in on his sixth motorcycling world championship in seven years. He currently leads Andrea Dovizioso by 58 points after 11 rounds of the 19-race season.

Although favourite to win at Silverstone on Sunday, it's not been a lucky track for Marquez in the past. He last won here five years ago, but hopes that the latest resurfacing work completed by the circuit this year before the F1 Grand Prix will make a positive difference.

"Silverstone has been really bumpy in the past," said Marquez. "This year is a new surface. It should be better in that aspect, Our bike is not the best to absorb bumps.

"I like the layout," he added. "The rest of the track is really nice and I really like it, We have a better engine so this helps on the straights."

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