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GP Week : Issue 23
>>Moto GPnews Factory test frenzy as ban ends MOTOGP teams will celebrate the end of the summer testing ban with two days of intensive tests at Brno, the day after next weekend’s Czech Republic GP. Teams and service units will stay on in the paddock, while factory engineers wheel out the latest ideas and concepts, with tyre companies Bridgestone and Michelin also joining the tests. Valentino Rossi and his fellow Yamaha riders were Hayden hurt? NICKY Hayden has injured his foot in an ill-fated recreational outing to the ESPN ‘X- Games’in Los Angeles last weekend. Nicky was due to race in the Supermoto event, but came to grief on the huge Supercross-style jumps in practice, and hurt his foot in a heavy landing. He left without taking further part. expecting mainly refinements to the electronics package: “We need a little bit more acceleration and top end, and when I asked for it, they promised it after the summer break,” said Rossi, before going on holiday. Honda has had more time to iron out niggles in the pneumatic-valve engine, and will also offer upgrades for testing to the satellite team. Pedrosa is expected to wait until after the race before testing the pneumatic motor, which Hayden has had for the past four races, even though HRC said it wasn’t yet race-ready. John Hopkins was already testing a new Kawasaki engine and chassis combination when he crashed at Assen. Extra power had given the rider more room to avoid the wheelspin that plagued the earlier version, he said, but he wanted yet more horsepower. The factory has promised this also for Brno. Superbike abandons Superpole MOTOGP will be watching carefully after World Superbike boss Paolo Flammini announced the abandonment of that series’ ‘Superpole’qualifying runs. Superpole is currently the final qualifying test, where one bike at a time sets a lap. Next year they will copy F1, with a series of shorter sessions leading to a final 12- minute shoot-out for the top eight. MotoGP switched to a single qualifying hour two years ago. 13 Suzuki also offers chassis and engine developments for post-race testing: “We have a lot of confidence and high hopes,” said Chris Vermeulen, on the podium for the last two rounds. Ducati will test both developments to the 2008 machine as well as the carbon-fibre-framed 2009 development bike, with test riders Guareschi and Canepa joining the GP regulars. It is not known whether Sete Gibernau will join the throng.