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GP Week : Issue 45
>>Moto GPnews Rossi eyes a century … at home VALENTINO Rossi is approaching a landmark 100th Grand Prix win – and the Fiat Yamaha rider has the chance to set his century at home at the Italian GP at Mugello. Rossi, whose keen awareness of racing history is well-known, is a regular hands- down favourite at the fast and scenic Tuscan circuit outside Florence. He has won there for the last seven years in succession in the premier class; as well as once each in 125 and 250. But first he must face the hurdle of Le Mans. Victory at the Spanish GP was win number 98, and he needs to make it 99 in the French round to secure the dream home number. Rossi has won twice at the French circuit, including last year, where his 91st win moved him into second place overall, overtaking Angel Nieto’s (pictured bellow) total of 90 wins. Rossi has piled up the statistics in a career spanning 14 years so far, and including 26 wins in the smaller classes. But his final target on the all-time roll of honour may be out of reach, unless he prolongs his career for at least two more seasons, or adopts the practice of earlier times to compete in more than one class. Fifteen-times World Champion Giacomo Agostini took 13 years to accumulate a grand total of 123 GP wins – one of which came on a 750 in the 1977 German round, during the years the F750 series counted as a full World Championship. All his other wins were in the 350cc and 500cc classes, frequently taking two on the same day. Digital Caption New wet-race rules for single-bike future THE regulation that MotoGP riders will compete with just one machine from the start of next season has required a major rethink in rules on wet races – with race management set to copy F1 with a fixed- time pit-stop rule. Current flag-to-flag rules themselves followed years of wrangling and false starts in an attempt to avoid TV schedule- wrecking delays as races were red flagged to let pit crews fit wet-weather tyres, brakes and suspension settings. Organisers even tested, albeit just the once, a procedure of introducing a pace car during a pit-stop window, to be followed by “a rolling start” after riders had resumed correct race order. Since 2005, the flag-to-flag rules allow riders to pit to change bikes, to a machine already set up for new conditions. It was first used in anger in Australian in 2006, and proved popular with riders and spectators. The one-bike rule makes the system Images used in GPWEEK are shot by the photo-artists at Sutton Images. Posters available of any shot – CLICK HERE for more information impossible: and the GP Commission plans to conserve flag-to-flag conditions with a system of timed pit stops. Riders will be ushered into the pits, and have to remain there, wheels stopped, for a fixed length of time … enough for the necessary adjustments to be made. Details remain to be finalised. Crucially, will riders have a choice to continue on slicks, if the end of the race is approaching? Interested in Aussie V8 Supercars? CLICK HERE to access Australasian Motorsport eNews ... 17