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GP Week : Issue 6
“WHAT if” is considered poor currency in racing … but is meat and drink to the sport of speculation. And Sunday’s race threw up a couple of significant what-ifs. The first concerns Rossi, and his remarkable performance so far on Bridgestone tyres. Stoner’s first-round Qatar victory apart, Valentino has been head and shoulders above the other Bridgestone runners, in qualifying and the races. And he’s still getting used to the tyres. What if he hadn’t made the big jump from Michelin? Would his upstart team- mate Lorenzo be beating him then? The second concerns Pedrosa, who has been on the podium of every race this year. Uniquely, the Hondas still have steel valve springs, while the rest use pneumatics or, in Ducati’s case, desmodromics. HRC is working flat out on its own pneumatic-valve engine, but can’t seem to get it right: the engine’s appearance has been deferred once again for more than a month. By their own admission, they are giving away not only rev potential, but also internal engine load and friction, and some performance too. So what if Dani had an engine with pneumatic valves? What would he be doing then? I reckon the two of them would be leaving everyone for dead. What if? That is the question M oto GP PORTUGAL >> Michael Scott MotoGP editor o p in io n 25