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GP Week : Issue 56
HIGH SIDES n Jorge Lorenzo’s potential move to Honda is still the talking point of the paddock. But racing hero Kevin Schwantz is convinced he should stay where he is, with Rossi at Yamaha. “If you have a teammate you think you can beat, you should stay there and punch it out with him on the same bike,” he said. n Donington’s annual charity bash, the Day of Champions, realised almost £177,000 (US$290,000) for the Riders for Health organisation, which uses motorcycles to provide primary medical care in inaccessible parts of rural Africa. Rossi items alone pulled in £17,100 at the Thursday evening auction, while an oil painting by Lorenzo fetched £2,300. The biggest single item was a pair of VIP paddock passes including grid access, sold by Rizla Suzuki for £7,600. n What looked like a last-minute event sponsor at Donington got full value. The Spanish tourist board erected huge billboards all around the track, to be seen on TV worldwide. The message dimly visible through the persistent rain was compelling. ‘Visit Spain’, it said! n Former 250 contender and 20 times 250 and 125 GP winner Ralf Waldmann made a one-off GP return at Donington Park at the age of 43, as substitute for injured Russian Team Viessman Kiefer Aprilia 250 rider Vladimir Leonov. He chose slick tyres while the others used full wets, and retired after dropping out of contention. One of his greatest wins was here in a reverse situation … he caught up almost half a lap on wet tyres when it rained to just pip long-time slick-shod leader Olivier Jacque. n With the British car GP due to take place at Donington next July, there was little sign of the major works required to change the Donington Park circuit, apart from a new tunnel. But work on the £55m (US$90m) programme was due to start “imminently”, said a spokesman. “We are assured it will all be finished in time,” he said. Work is due to start at Silverstone in November to prepare that track for the return of MotoGP after 23 years at Donington. n The MotoGP race was delayed by one and half hours at Donington Park to avoid a TV clash with the German car GP, making a late night for all concerned. Such calendar clashes are usually mercifully avoided. 1