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GP Week : Issue 30
HIGH SIDES n Casey Stoner will complete the full season rather than quitting early for surgery to the broken scaphoid in his left wrist. With only three races remaining, doctors had told him “it won’t get damaged any more if I carry on racing.” n Alex Criville took the NSR500 two-stroke on which he won the 1999 World Championship on a sentimental journey at Motegi, running a couple of laps on Saturday … and getting the bike sideways in the process. There was hardly a dry eye in the house. n Marco Simoncelli’s 250 class win was the 200th in a row for Dunlop tyres, in a run that began with Max Biaggi at Suzuki in 1996. Dunlop has been the sole supplier to the class for many years. n In an effort to cut costs, 125 riders will only have one bike each from next year, the GP Commission decreed at Motegi. This is the return of a short-lived experiment in both 250 and 125 classes in the 1990s. n The JiR team has confirmed a split with Honda, after its application for an NSR for next year was refused. Team chief Luca Montiron said he “looked forward to finding a new manufacturer in which we can believe”. n Hector Barbera sustained dangerous back injuries in a heavy crash in free practice on Saturday morning, with two vertebrae fractured. But he continued to ride, before pain forced him to seek medical attention. He was then flown home to Spain for emergency treatment. 12 Dovizioso confirmed at Repsol Honda ANDREA Dovizioso was confirmed as Dani Pedrosa’s team-mate in the Repsol Honda team next year at a formal conference on the first day of practice at Motegi. He has been signed up on a one-year contract to replace Nicky Hayden, who recently confirmed that he will be moving to Ducati next year. HRC president Masumi Hamane made the announcement, saying: “We at HRC admire his talent, but also his approach to racing. His dedication has impressed everyone at HRC.” For the 22-year- old Italian, it was the achievement of a lifelong ambition. “I have ridden for seven years with Honda, because I wanted to be in the top factory team,”he said. “This is one of my dreams coming true.” Asked about his new team-mate, Dovizioso said: “For me Dani had always been a good rider. I would prefer to have a good relationship, but if he doesn’t want that, it’s not such a problem for me,” said the Italian. Half an hour later, Honda also announced that Dovizioso’s place in the satellite Scot Honda team would go to current 250 rider Yuki Takahashi ADVERTISE in GPWEEK to access a huGE global audience