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GP Week : Issue 50
HIGH SIDES n Dual compound tyres made their first appearance of the season at Catalunya, where two separate sets of long and fast right-hand corners punish that side of the tyre. Bridgestone expects to use dual-compounds only twice more, at the Sachsenring and Phillip Island. n On the eve of the first day of testing since the start of the year, Stoner issued a blistering attack on riders relying on new parts to transform their chances. “The bike’s there. You’ve got to make what you can of it. Too many people just sit there whinging and bitching instead of getting out there and setting up the bike that they've got the best they can.” n Jorge Lorenzo’s troubled former manager Dani Amatriain was reportedy under arrest in Barcelona after making threatening phone calls to his former riders, according to Spanish newspaper ‘Marca’. The former GP racer also managed the Espargaro brothers, and was reported as having demanded money and issued death threats to his former riders. n All six MotoGP satellite teams as well as Team Roberts are among those accepted for the provisional entry list for Moto2, announced at Catalunya. Of the 47 entries received, 10 were rejected, 10 more put on a reserve list, and the remaining 27 informed that their entries will be considered. They have until the start of October to confirm team structure and procure equipment and riders, for the final selection process. n Plucky Danny Webb, one of the hot British trio in the 125 class, survived yet another heavy crash on the first day of practice, with injuries to the little finger of his right hand including having the nail ripped off. He raced anyway, but had to retire because of the pain. n American hope Stevie Bonsey made an unexpected GP return, replacing slow 250 rookie Aitor Rodriguez on the Milar-Juegos Lucky Racing Team. Ex-dirt-tracker and 125 racer Bonsey, a protégé of Kenny Roberts, was left high and dry when his team folded unexpectedly days before the Jerez pre-season test. 12 HasHonda secured Simoncelli? TIGHT lips and refusals to comment only strengthened rumours at Catalunya that Honda has swooped to secure the services of current Italian hot property Marco Simoncelli, after the Italian confirmed that he will definitely move to the top class in 2010. A regulation introduced this year means that no class rookie can walk straight into a factory team, but must first spend a year in a satellite squad. Paddock whispers triggered by an internet report put the tousle-headed talent into the Gresini Honda team for next year, with a possible future move to the factory team. The HRC-favoured San Carlo- sponsored Gresini team already has the use of a factory-spec bike for Toni Elias. Simoncelli was known to have been targeted already by Yamaha for the Tech 3 team, and Suzuki, which with no satellite squad can circumvent the “no rookies” rule. This was the leading scuttlebuck as the annual silly season got under way even earlier than usual. Another rumour was that Simoncelli’s 250-class rival Alvaro Bautista had turned down an offer from Suzuki. Bautista’s MotoGP future may be linked with that of his team boss Jorge ‘Aspar’ Martinez, but the Spaniard’s hopes of getting a Yamaha were dashed at Catalunya when Yamaha confirmed it intends to supply only four bikes next year, two to the factory team and two to Tech 3. Dani Pedrosa was obliged to deny that he had already agreed to stay with Honda, while team- mate Dovizioso was expressing disappointment with his start with the factory team, and did not rule out a move elsewhere next year. Hayden s A 20mm seat height adjustment was one key to Nicky Hayden’s best weekend yet since joining the Marlboro Ducati team, after new settings and a new electronic package finally gave the 2006 World Champion at least a small boost to his battered confidence. That was one change he was prepared to describe, in a package where the team had “changed everything on it except for the handgrips”. The setting changes had been discovered by tester Vittoriano Guareschi after the Italian GP at Mugello, and worked for all the Ducati riders. Stoner spoke of better corner entry, without having to use