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GP Week : Issue 34
Widening the gap IN the first 990 four-stroke race at Valencia in 2002, Alex Barros beat Valentino Rossi by a quarter of a second. A year later, it was Rossi from Sete Gibernau by six tenths. Less than half a second in 2004 (Rossi from Biaggi); less than a tenth in 2005 (Melandri from Hayden). The 800s, with no surplus power and super-accurate electronics, have spoiled all that. The 2008 Valencia GP, with riders circulating steadily a couple of seconds apart, rivalled F1 for being cripplingly dull. But will the mono-tyre rule help a return to close racing? GPWeek asked the top three finishers, and Pedrosa’s answer was the best. “Before, the races were not so fast from the start. Riders took some laps to warm up the tyres, to watch each other, then start pulling. Then you could see some closer riding. “When the 800s came, everybody goes full from the start. So if one rider is able to go a little faster, the gaps start, then it is like this all the race. “The tyres have improved so you go fast from the start. “Maybe the new tyres will not have such high performance. If everybody has to warm up the tyres, maybe it will be better,” he said. Stoner, however, was not so sure. “At Phillip Island, there was a really good battle from fourth to about eighth, with Michelin and Bridgestone tyres mixed in. When you see a battle like that next year everybody’s going to say: ‘That’s the single tyre rule’. People can have a short memory.” Pos. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 MOTOGP| Round 18 VALENCIA Rider Nation Team C. STONER D. PEDROSA V. ROSSI Repsol Honda Team Fiat Yamaha Team Total time AUS Ducati Marlboro Team 46’46.114 SPA ITA + 3.390 + 12.194 A. DOVIZIOSO ITA N. HAYDEN C. EDWARDS S. NAKANO J. LORENZO L. CAPIROSSI USA USA JPN SPA ITA GBR FRA C. VERMEULEN AUS J. HOPKINS R. DE PUNIET J. TOSELAND M. MELANDRI ITA A. WEST T. ELIAS JiR Team Scot MotoGP + 24.159 Repsol Honda Team Tech 3 Yamaha + 26.232 + 32.209 San Carlo Honda Gresini + 34.571 Fiat Yamaha Team Rizla Suzuki MotoGP + 35.661 + 38.228 A. DE ANGELIS RSM San Carlo Honda Gresini + 47.583 J. TOSELAND S. GUINTOLI Tech 3 Yamaha Alice Team Rizla Suzuki MotoGP USA FRA AUS SPA GBR + 52.107 + 52.350 + 52.833 Kawasaki Racing Team + 53.227 LCR Honda MotoGP + 53.411 Ducati Marlboro Team + 1’08.387 Kawasaki Racing Team + 1’11.181 Alice Team Tech 3 Yamaha Points – MotoGP: Rossi 373, Stoner 280, Pedrosa 249, Lorenzo 190, Dovizioso 174, Hayden 155, Edwards 144, Vermeulen 128, Nakano 126 250cc: Simoncelli 281, Bautista 244, Kallio 196, Debon 176, Takahashi 167, Barbera 142, Aoyama 139, Pasini 132, Locatelli 110, Simon 109, Luthi 108 125cc: Di Meglio 264, Corsi 225, Talmacsi 206, Bradl 187, Terol 176, Smith 150, Olive 142, Cortese 141, Espargara 124, Iannone 106, Redding 105, Gadea 83 34 + 1’37.055 19 Lap