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GP Week : Issue 6
British Hold 'Em: James Toseland came under some fire in Portugal after some go-slow antics in qualifying. Qualifying cruisers a menace Nicky Hayden asks for quali revamp to avoid time-wasters THE nastiest accident of the weekend was when 125 Derbi rider Mike di Meglio went piling into the back of wild card Ivan Maestro in qualifying. Luckily neither was badly hurt – these are dangerous crashes. And symptomatic of a problem of heavy traffic that needs to be addressed. Di Meglio was on a hot lap, Maestro running slowly, though off the racing line. Unfortunately Iannone was passing inside him at the time, and he was also much slower than di Meglio. The Frenchman had nowhere to go. There were no collisions in MotoGP, but a number of incidents – exacerbated, according to Hayden (who had to slow to avoid a cruising Toseland in qualifying) by riders just killing time near the end of the session. “They’re waiting to do a practice start at the end. If they’re in the pits when the flag comes out, they’re not allowed out again,” he explained. If such riders could instead assemble at the pit-lane exit, then be allowed out for that practice start, the matter would be improved, he said. F1 has introduced a penalty system preventing drivers from cruising in qualifying. Might be time for something similar on two wheels – especially in a 125 class with 37 bikes lining up to qualify at the same time. 22