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Michael Jordan rides the Ducati Desmosedici

Michael Jordan rides the Ducati Desmosedici

Michael Jordan rides the Ducati Desmosedici

Basketball legend Michael Jordan fulfilled a lifetime ambition in Valencia, Spain, on Saturday when he completed several laps of the Ricardo Tormo circuit aboard a MotoGP bike, the fastest motorcycle in the world.

The former Chicago Bulls star has been a keen motorcyclist since the age of five and today got the opportunity of a lifetime, riding the 230bhp Ducati Desmosedici prototype normally taken to speeds up over 210mph by Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss in MotoGP World Championship – the most prestigious and technologically advanced series in motorcycle racing.

Jordan was joined on track by a selection of the world's best riders, with Sete Gibernau, Colin Edwards, Kurtis Roberts and Kenny Roberts Jr showing him around the 4,005m track, before getting an extra treat from MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi, who took him for a lap in the new BMW M5.

"It was Sete who talked me into it!" laughed Jordan. "That was fun, but I only got it up to fourth gear, I can't imagine what these things are like wide open in sixth! The straightaways were no problem, but I was trying to find the markers for the corners, then I had these other guys riding alongside tapping me on the leg!

"These things have so much power, I was trying to pull a wheelie, but in the end I was a bit too afraid, so I just started waving! I guess you could say I need a bit more time to get used to all that power.

"I've been into bikes pretty much all my life, I started riding dirt bikes when I was five. And I really like this whole MotoGP thing. Maybe I'd like to have a team one day, but I'm only learning this whole deal right now. The lap in the car with Rossi was amazing – that guy is nuts!"

Jordan was welcomed to the Gran Premio Marlboro de la Comunitat Valenciana by Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports, the rights holders to the series. "The visit of a world sport star with the profile and prestige of Michael Jordan is fantastic for MotoGP," said Mr Ezpeleta, who enjoyed a round of golf with Jordan on Friday.

"We had heard that he was interested in visiting MotoGP and that he was a big fan, but we were surprised by his knowledge of the championship and the riders. He was here on a private trip with friends but he showed what a nice guy he is with his patience and humility… even though he beat me at golf!"


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