Alonso takes to two wheels at Honda celebration
McLaren’s Fernando Alonso didn’t need asking twice when offered the chance to ride reigning MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez’s bike at Japan’s Motegi Twin Ring Circuit over the weekend, as Honda celebrated the end of their racing year.
Jenson Button in the Honda NSX Concept-GT, 2016 Honda Racing Thanks Day, Motegi, Japan, December 2016 © Honda
Alonso – a huge bike racing fan, but more used to Honda power in the back of his F1 car – took to the track alongside Marquez and his team mate Dani Pedrosa, in front of around 20,000 fans at the 2016 Honda Racing Thanks Day.
Also in attendance were Alonso’s 2016 McLaren team mate Jenson Button and his replacement for next season, Stoffel Vandoorne, all of whom got to ride and drive various motorcycles, cars, karts and other Honda-powered machines.
Button sampled the Honda NSX Concept-GT, prompting much chatter about the possibility of the 2009 F1 champion competing in Japan’s Super GT series next season, and he and Vandoorne also got behind the wheel of the McLaren MP4/6, as raced by Ayrton Senna and Gerhard Berger in the early 1990s.
Going slightly further back in Honda’s F1 history, Alonso was lucky enough to drive the V12-powered RA301, which contested the 1968 Formula One season in the hands of 1964 world champion John Surtees.