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GP Week : Issue 46
The Haya Rossi’s three-stop strategy COMING last was, said Rossi, “a new experience. And I don’t like it.” But he had soldiered on, two laps adrift, in the hope of a point or two if anyone ahead of him crashed. Nobody obliged, and he was a pointless 16th. He had pitted early because he was losing time on his wet bike, but crashed because it was hard to see, on the rubber- marked tarmac at Museum, whether it was wet or dry, confirmed by other riders. “The crash was the mistake, not the strategy,”he said. “After that, nothing made any difference.”Not even the ride- through penalty, for speeding in pit lane. He’d ridden his damaged bike back, where the team had the wet bike ready, now with a slick rear (rules require different tyres for a bike change). But they hadn’t activated the speed limiter, and he broke the limit in pit lane, hence the penalty. His third stop came after he’d completed that, which gave the team time to repair his “dry”bike. By then, however, it was much too late. The loss robbed him of the chance of a 100th GP win at Mugello in a fortnight, but a bigger worry was that “even if it was dry I couldn’t have won. We need to improve the bike settings, very urgently,” he said. 250: Ch 125: Julian Simon dominates crash-fest TALK about a race of attrition! Started in the rain, with another shower towards the end, the 125s had a total of 30 crashes, several riders falling and remounting more than once. Which made Julian Simon’s massive victory by more than 25 seconds all the more impressive. The Bancaja Aspar Aprilia rider didn’t put a wheel wrong, after taking the lead on the fourth of 24 laps, after pinning back runaway early leader Nico Terol (J&J Aprilia). Terol promptly fell in the middle of the first chicane, and from then on Simon, already almost 10s clear, simply pulled away throughout. “It was very difficult, but I kept my concentration, not to crash,”he said. At this point, Joan Olive (Derbi) and pole qualifier (the second youngest ever) Marc Marquez (Red Bull KTM) were locked in combat for second. It went wrong for them at the end of lap five, when Olive spun sideways on the last corner, and Marquez was unable to avoid running into him. Spanish GP winner Bradley Smith (Bancaja Aprilia) now led a distant pursuit until lap 11, seeing off but all the sensational young German Jonas Folger (ISPA Aprilia) and his compatriot Stefan Bradl (Kiefer Aprilia) until half distance. One lap later Bradl’s challenge to Folger ended in a crash of his own. At the finish, Simon was 27.06 seconds ahead of Folger; while Sergio Gadea passed team-mate Smith for third with three laps to go. Takaaki Nakagami (ISPA Aprilia) was a lone and distant fifth, having stayed wheels-down all race long; with Swiss rider Dominique Aegerter (Derbi) next, narrowly ahead of Andrea Iannone (ISPA Aprilia). Both had remounted, Iannone having crashed on the first lap. Terol had also remounted, worked his way back up to 10th, then slipped off again, getting going once more for an astonishing ninth, with just 15 finishers from 33 starters.