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GP Week : Issue 10
n 2006 champion Nicky Hayden is crossing his fingers and hoping bad things don’t really come in threes. With younger brother Roger Lee already laid up after losing a finger at an earlier AMA round, his older brother Tommy has suffered a badly broken ankle, also after getting hit by another rider. n Honda has confirmed that the long-awaited new RC212V with pneumatic valve actuation will finally be ready for testing after the French GP, this weekend. The bike appeared briefly pre-season, and was promised for earlier tests, but then held back for further bench-testing. n India is the latest candidate to join the MotoGP calendar, hoping in future to host two-wheel races at the forthcoming F1 circuit at Greater Noida. Before that, Turkey is expected to rejoin the calendar, in place of the now defunct Shanghai race. n Valentino Rossi’s win in China was his 63rd in the top class, bringing Agostini’s total of 68 wins definitely within reach this year. Before that, he will catch Angel Nieto, for wins in all classes. China was Rossi’s 89th career win; Nieto has 90. Agostini is a long way clear in this tally, with 123. n American racer John Hopkins is no fan of new plans to dumb-down US racing, with horsepower- limited machines and no factory entries. “It’s not in my favour, nor for the fans. Where’s the Superbikes, man? All I wanted to do when I was growing up was to come and check out the bikes and check out my heroes riding the coolest bikes in the world.” HIGH SIDES Lorenzo, Super-hero, plans to be at Le Mans AFTER adding sheer heroism to his growing repertoire of astonishing tricks, rookie MotoGP winner Jorge Lorenzo has promised more of the same for the next round at Le Mans. Lorenzo arrived in China with still- healing surgery to his right fore-arm, and left with fractures and injuries to both ankles. In between he claimed a breathtaking fourth place on his Fiat Yamaha, second Michelin finisher. On his return from China, it was back to Barcelona’s Institut Universitari Dexeus, where his hard- worked specialist Dr Xavier Mir prescribed complete immobilisation for both ankles. Lorenzo has fractured the astragalus bone in his right ankle, and had broken a ligament in his left. It didn’t stop wheelchair-bound Lorenzo from attending the launch of a new scooter bearing his name, and promising his fans he would be back in action for the French GP. “I am confident my ankles will get better and I’m sure I’ll be able to race at Le Mans he said. “It’s the only thing I am thinking about at the moment. I’m sure I can make it with a lot of motivation.” Lorenzo crashed in the first free practice session at Shanghai, slamming down hard from a vicious low-speed high-side in one of the track’s abrupt changes of direction. 12