Ahead of the Michelin® Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and (Alma Pramac Racing) headed for Rod Laver Arena at the home of the Australian Open for the pre-event – meeting up with former World No.1 tennis ace Lleyton Hewitt and star coach François Vogelsberger for a match with a few differences. Arriving in style, the two riders headed in over Tanderrum Bridge on two Ducatis – ready to meet their match.
Heading out on court, after an initial Warm Up and some friendly words at the net it was down to business – with Miller and Dovi teaming up vs the pros. Unfair odds? Some would say, and despite a few choice shots that just about had Hewitt’s team outfoxed, the MotoGP™ riders found themselves broken – in a serve sense of course – and it was time to try and level the playing field a little.
Time out taken and ready to kick it up a gear, the gloves then came off for Dovizioso and Miller as Hewitt put them on. Donning one of Miller’s, the former Wimbledon and US Open champion now had to try it with a bit more of a handicap – but still, it was to no avail as the pros came out swinging once again. Next up? Even more of a challenge…
Although it was harder to hold the racket in the glove, it took another level up with the addition of Miller’s helmet. Pulling it on and getting used to the extra weight, Hewitt was then facing two different challenges as he tried to serve accurately looking through the visor – and stay nimble enough to return. The riders geared themselves up to give it their best shot and finally, finally managed to slice one past the pros.
So that’s it for Melbourne and now it’s time to head south through the state of Victoria as Phillip Island beckons for another spectacular battle. Thursday welcomes the riders to the pre-event Press Conference as well as a couple more Aussie-themed events before practice begins on Friday, and the lights go out for the race at 16:00 local time on Sunday (GMT+11).
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