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GP Week : Issue 51
>>Moto GPnews ermeulen? lost power at Catalunya to finish 11th. The revised engine appeared earlier than expected, and both riders used it at the Catalunyan GP. It only marginally improves the GSV-R’s straight line speed, one problem the riders have been suffering, but both commented on an improved character and response, and better mid-range drive out of the corners. But with a limited number of parts, and after Vermeulen’s motor expired as he crossed the finish line, they were unable to test the motor on the following Monday. “I’ve just got to convince the engineers to see if we’ve got enough parts to run the new engine in Assen,” Vermeulen told pressmen after the test. Vermeulen came close to losing the Suzuki ride at the end of last season, after disappointing results; but since many of these were machine-related, the team relented. orDucati DominantDovi helps hearten Honda SOLE factory Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso cut his own previous best lap time by better than three tenths of a second, to consign race heroes Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo to second and third-fastest times, after giving a revised chassis a first outing at Catalunya’s post-race test. The Monday tests are the first of only two days of testing; the second is after the Czech GP at Brno in August. Battle-scarred team-mate Dani Pedrosa pulled out of the tests to give his injured right hip more time to recover, leaving the Italian – in only his second MotoGP season – to head HRC’s development. Monster Tech 3 Yamaha cut the test, as did Team Scot rider Yuki Takahashi, nursing a fresh finger fracture. All but one rider improved on best race lap times, but up at the top end of the time sheet only Dovizioso and Kallio actually went faster than they had during qualifying. The team felt this underlined the promise of the revised chassis, while Dovizioso had at least some of the improvement he’s been asking for all year. He said that the new chassis worked better going into the corners, solving one of his difficulties. But he was still troubled by aggressive engine response. “There have been one of two clear improvements, but we’ve still got a lot of issues,”said crew chief Pete Benson. 15