Some Grand Prix motorcycle racers have made the transition to four wheels with aplomb.
John Surtees is the only man to win World Championships in Grand Prix motorcycle racing and Formula One. Mike Hailwood was a star on two and four wheels. Eddie Lawson was a decent shoe in Indy Lights and Indy after his motorcycle racing career ended. Valentino Rossi has looked fast, if not a bit ragged, in a few World Rally outings. Kawasaki MX star and OAS star Jeff Ward nearly won the Indy 500.
But some riders are best left to two wheels. Casey Stoner flopped this year in his V8 Supercars rookie season, quitting after just one year.
New Moto2 World Champion Pol Espargaro might want to keep his full-time, two-wheeled job next season as a MotoGP rookie at Tech 3 Yamaha, too.
Espargaro tested a Formula Renault 3.5 open-wheel car Monday at Barcelona, a run that ended in a crash. Espargaro was unhurt in the crash, which occurred when he speared into the tire barriers just before the chicane that isn't used by Grand Prix motorcycles at the Circuit de Catalunya.
The test was a perk for winning the World Championship. Former 250cc World Champion Sito Pons provided fellow Spaniard Espargaro a ride in the Formula Renault car fielded by his Pons Racing team. Formula Renault is widely considered as a training and proving ground two steps below the elite Formula One.
Esparagaro loved the experience despite the crash.
"It was great," Espargaro said. "A totally different experience from riding bikes, and a fantastic feeling. The WSR car is really incredible, I was impressed with the power, the handling and the brakes, which are phenomenal.
It's interesting to note that Nick Hayden often is asked when he visits Indianapolis on press tours if he'll ever consider a switch to car racing. Hayden's standard answer is something like, "Nah, I like bikes. I think I'll stick to bikes," with a wry grin.