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GP Week : Issue 40
HIGH SIDES n Battered James Toseland will be fit to race at Qatar, after escaping with a broken right toe and badly sprained right ankle after his second big testing crash at Qatar last week. Toseland has expressed a wish to bury the hatchet with angry team- mate Colin Edwards after the latter demanded a wall down the middle of the pit. But Edwards told Motor Cycle News: “I didn’t want any wee beady eyes staring over at me and seeing what I was doing.” n The new Moto2 proposal for a single engine supplier re-opens the class to former would-be MotoGP competitor Ilmor, the engine company run by F1 design legend Mario Illien. Ilmor’s pneumatic-valve V4 was the first 800 to race, but the team pulled out after the first round of its first full season. n Dorna chief Carmelo Ezpeleta was presented with a new BMW 750i saloon at the Jerez tests, to celebrate another year of the German company as official car of MotoGP. Will this compensate for the indignity of BMW rejecting MotoGP in favour of World Superbikes – their new bikes scored points in both of Sunday’s SBK races. n The lack of intermediate tyres was less of a talking point at Jerez than expected, in a weekend of very mixed conditions. Although some track time was lost, Bridgestone’s wet tyres proved suitable for drying conditions. This is in line with the new single tyre supplier’s aim “to make each tyre suitable for a much wider range of conditions”, in the words of big chief Hiroshi Yamada. 16 ‘down-home’ Hayden Slang-stop for NICKY Hayden is blaming his propensity for down- home Kentucky slang for communication problems with his new all-Italian Ducati team, after a lack of understanding has cost him time and progress at test sessions. Speaking at Jerez after placing a disappointing 11th in the first contest of the season, the cut-short 40-minute timed and televised dash for the car, Hayden admitted that he didn’t always make himself clear in the way he was used to. “We need to make the communication clearer,” he said. “One thing is talking to them without taking my helmet off in the session. That caused some problems. “Also I’ve had to try and stop using slang. They all speak Italian, and sometimes they just don’t understand what I mean!” he smiled. Rather than give them a crash course in American cinema and gangsta-rap, Hayden is choosing his words more carefully as he seeks to tame the Ducati and match the blazing pace of his team-mate Stoner. “Looking at the data, there’s places I’m just as quick as him,” said the American 2006 World Champion. “Then there’s two or three corners where he is unbelievable faster than me. I mean … he has a seven tenths advantage over Rossi. I know how difficult it is to get one or two-tenths …” His biggest hurdle remains the Ducati’s hard-to- understand nature “Sometimes it feels like it’s got a mind of its own,” he says. Footnote: Ducati rookie Mikka Kallio, faster than Hayden at Jerez, has also been studying the Australian star’s data, saying it helped him to ride the bike “less like a 250”.