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GP Week : Issue 19
n Rider Safety Commission member Valentino Rossi described information received from Indianapolis tests as “not very positive,” because of four or five very, very tight corners. “The bigger problem is three or four different types of tarmac with a different amount of grip … all the riders with all the different bikes complain about that,” he said. n Nicky Hayden has explained further how electronics had run him out of fuel at Assen. The lean-off programme to save fuel had cut in early, so he’d had to open the throttle earlier and wider … “so it actually used more fuel.” n An Aussie Century: Casey Stoner’s victory was the 100th for Australian riders in the premier class. The first was Ken Kavanagh on a Norton in 1953. Italy has the most wins, with 204. n In a show of Spanish solidarity, major 125 and 250 team owner Jorge ‘Aspar’ Martinez has backed Dorna chief Carmelo Ezpeleta’s plans for a 600cc production- based class to replace 250cc two-strokes. “The change will lower costs,” he said. Current lease prices for a top Aprilia are 1.15-million Euros; purchase price of a production bike 500,000 Euros. “Most of that money will be saved,” he said, citing a proposed 20,000-Euro ‘claiming’ rule to allow any team to buy another team’s winning engine. n Only two riders have scored points in every MotoGP race this year. One of them is Shinya Nakano, lying 10th overall with a best of eighth place. The other is Valentino Rossi. Pedrosa’s crash ruled him out of the select company. HIGH SIDES 10 DANI Pedrosa may miss next weekend’s US GP, after suffering at least one fracture when he crashed out of today’s race – throwing away a seven-second lead, and severely denting his championship charge. The crash also spoiled a perfect finishing record this year, and lost him the lead on points. While other riders jetted directly off to the USA to acclimatise for next Sunday’s Laguna Seca race, Pedrosa flew instead to Barcelona to see the hard-worked surgeon Xavier Mir, who has twice operated on Jorge Lorenzo this year. Mir will investigate the injuries further. Pedrosa’s crash came as he touched the brakes at the end of the front straight. At barely reduced speed he tumbled through the gravel to the air fence, his somersaulting bike landing on top of the barrier. Although he walked away, he was taken straight to the medical centre, where a fracture to his right index finger was diagnosed at once, with a further suspected fracture to his right ankle. It was Pedrosa’s second tumble of the weekend. Even if he doesn’t require surgery, Pedrosa is certainly a doubtful starter at Laguna Seca; and at best will be far from fully race fit. But as arch- rival Jorge Lorenzo has shown this year, however, this need not be a bar to the rostrum.