Daniel Day-Lewis lived the MotoGP experience
Oscar-winning actor Daniel Day-Lewis got to experience the full force of MotoGP at Estoril sunday afternoon, riding two high-speed laps of the Portuguese circuit aboard the Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici two-seater behind multiple GP winner Randy Mamola.
Day-Lewis, a long-time motorcycling fan, enjoyed the ride hugely, especially because it gave him the ultimate insight into a sport he loves.
"That was radical, I beat my own personal heartbeat record and I think I’ll be talking Martian for the next few minutes!" beamed the British actor who lives in Wicklow, Ireland. "That was just unbelievable, definitely the best cure for anyone who thinks they can ride a motorcycle. I’ve ridden one track day but the braking was totally different, amazing. You’re used to releasing the brake as you crank into corners but Randy just kept braking all the way to the apex. And the acceleration was astonishing, you get the full measure of it down the big straight. As much as you feel the force of the braking throwing you forward, it’s the opposite when he gets on the power. These guys are real athletes, Randy could probably carry the bike on his back if he wanted to!"
"But the really lovely thing about the ride was that it gives you a taste of what it would feel like if you were able to ride a bike really well. And it gives you a huge insight into what these guys do, now I’ll be able to see the racing a little from the inside. I’ve been into bike GPs for years, watching Randy, Rainey, Schwantz and Doohan and then the current guys, and Joey Dunlop was a huge hero of mine."
Day-Lewis won his Academy Award for best actor in My Left Foot. His other films include Gangs of New York, Last of the Mohicans, In the Name of the Father and My Beautiful Launderette.
Next up on the two-seater was Portuguese rally champion Armindo Araujo. "That was a fantastic experience," said the former motocross rider. "The performance is incredible in every way but what really got me was the braking because in bikes you brake all the way inside the corner, it was a special."