Michael Schumacher, Formula1 legend/god/monster (delete as you see fit) blagged 58 laps on the MotoGP championship winning Ducati recently. And his reported fastest lap time was astonishing. Ducati's PR team released a best lap time of 1-37.89, which was only 3.4 seconds slower than Chaz Davies' Pramac Ducati qualification time. A time which was on a par with the world supersport pole time set by Katsuaki Fujiwara.
You have to admit, Schumacher's times would be bloody amazing if true. You might say they were unbelievable even. Clearly we are never going to know the truth since we don't have access to all the data, but we got a trackside photographer to check the data on his files to work out some lap times based on successive Schumacher laps and, guess what, according to the file data, Schumacher's morning laps were between 1-46 and 1-52. Our last unofficial lap time in the afternoon said 1-40. Can a very infrequent track day rider just turn up and do what Ducati claim?
Don't get us wrong, this is still impressive, but it's still a long way short of the 1-37.89 that was claimed and released to a credulous press (and yes, we're looking at you MCN.com and La Gazzetta dello Sport, to name but two...)
What do you reckon? Did Schumacher's PR goons put pressure on Ducati to release dodgy lap times? Did Ducati want to get massive PR coverage for their MotoGP bike and massage the figures? Did someone slip into Schuey's leathers late in the day and shave eight seconds off his best lap? Or is Schuey a two wheeled god? Log on to the forum and let's start a ruckus.