Seven-times Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher was a surprise guest at the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday - when he also took a high-speed ride on the Ducati Desmosedici two seater.
The Marlboro backed bike was being steered by a slightly nervous (given the value of his guest) Randy Mamola, himself a 13 times 500cc grand prix winner, who conducts all the Ducati two-seater rides alongside his television and rider management commitments.
The two lap outing began with a huge wheelie along the 200mph plus home straight and, unlike when carrying guests new to motorsport, Mamola was able to push hard and give 'Schumi' the full MotoGP experience.
The picturesque Mugello circuit is owned by Schumacher's Formula One employer Ferrari and is also the venue where the German rode a Ducati MotoGP machine unaccompanied last October.
"It was very impressive! Impressive is about the only word I can find at the moment," smiled Michael, a keen street rider and F1's most successful driver. "It was a very special experience, obviously very different to what I'm used to, different even to riding here on the Desmosedici last winter.
"On a bike you feel the speed more, you feel the machine moving around more, which is very different from a car, when you're inside and feel more protected. Plus, when you are riding with someone, you don't know what's going to happen and that makes it very interesting! The fact that I wasn't in control was what made it particularly impressive.
"I patted Randy on the back a couple of times to remind him that I've got the Silverstone F1 GP next week! It was a spectacular experience but now I have ridden a MotoGP bike myself and ridden the two-seater, I think I have done enough, I'm not planning to become a bike racer myself!" he added.
Schumacher joins fellow four-wheel stars Gerhard Berger, Toni Liuzzi and Nelson Piquet Jr in taking a two seater ride on the 990cc V4 powered machine - while a certain Bernie Ecclestone once rode on the earlier 500cc two-stroke Yamaha two seater.
Meanwhile, also taking a high-speed ride around Mugello on Sunday morning was reigning Miss Italy, Edelfa Masciotta.
"Randy was fantastic, he gave me total confidence before the ride," said the 21-year-old from Turin. "By the end of the ride I had no more strength in my arms, because riding was very physically demanding. But the ride was wonderful, I'm still trembling. This was the first time I've ever been on a racetrack and it's an experience I will never forget. The biggest things for me were the speed and the corners."
MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi ruled out a switch to Formula One, with Ferrari, last week.