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GP Week : Issue 51
>>Moto GPnews Come-back King Melandri escapes injury in heavy crash HAYATE Kawasaki’s come-back king Marco Melandri caused anxious moments in the pit garage at the end of testing, after a heavy crash in the closing stages, as he strove to improve on his 11th position. Melandri came down at speed on the fast Turn Six, at the bottom of the hill before the back straight. Dazed and battered, he was taken to the medical centre, where a slight fracture in his right hand was diagnosed, along with a possible fracture to his left ankle. He had also hit his head hard, and was kept under observation that night, without further problems. But to the orphan team’s relief he is expected to be fully fit for Assen, a track where he hopes to resume his strong results. Melandri, whose 14th on Sunday was his equal worst result this year, had always expected problems at Catalunya, where the very long corners punish the Kawasaki’s poor side grip. As well as his perfectly judged second at the wet- and-dry Le Mans race, his other top-six finishes came at Motegi and Jerez, both technical circuits, like Assen. The Italian, who ran into the doldrums with Ducati last year, currently lies seventh overall. Rossi goes it alone in Yamaha Future-watch SITTING pretty after a dominant one-two at the previous day’s Catalunyan GP, Fiat Yamaha had the luxury of being able test relatively distant future developments. But Rossi had to do so without the help and company of his technical mentor and championship companion Jerry Burgess. For the first time in their partnership, Burgess missed the test. He was en route home to Australia, for the 16 funeral of his mother. Rossi dedicated his landmark Catalunyan win to her, after Burgess received the news during an otherwise ecstatic and triumphant race weekend. After the efforts and celebrations of the day before, Rossi admitted it was hard to get going again on Monday morning, but ran a full programme of tests, as did team-mate Lorenzo. Apart from the usual electronics and tyres, Rossi was also able to get some data on a ‘long-life’ version of the M1 engine, intended for the second half of the season. New rules from the Brno round dictate that riders can use only five engines for the last seven races: a preparation for even tighter restrictions next year. “It was a good day. We worked on electronics to try to find a better power delivery, and we also checked a different version of the engine for the second half of the season.” Rossi and other riders also tested a dual-compound tyre intended for use at Phillip Island later in the season. Rossi ran 58 laps. Lorenzo ran through a similar programme and reported “some improvement” to make the effort worthwhile. “I am very tired now because it was very hot and I did 80 laps on top of a very hard weekend,” he said.