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GP Week : Issue 57
HIGH SIDES n Mika Kallio went straight from Donington to the doctor’s surgery after the British GP, to have the ugly injury to his left hand cleaned up. The Finnish Ducati rider lost the top joint of his ring finger when he crashed going for a career-best sixth place at Assen. n Silverstone is “a real man’s circuit” according to former GP winner Jeremy McWilliams, at a track launch the day after the British GP at Donington. Silverstone will take over the race next year, and promises a “memorable MotoGP experience at affordable prices,” according to MD Richard Phillips. A £7-million investment by March next year will mainly go to adding banks to improve spectator views and to reprofiling the circuit. n One welcome return will the final corner, Woodcote – wide, very fast, and the scene of many epic last-corner battles. Recently it had been tamed with a tight preceding chicane, but extra run-off area has meant the corner has been restored to its former glory. n Prince Harry’s visit to the British GP put MotoGP in an unaccustomed top spot in the national news pages the following Monday. Harry, a bike nut who was visiting informally, had a lap with Randy Mamola on the two-seater Ducati, and got lots of headlines in the mainstream Press. n Alvaro Bautista has promised to decide his MotoGP future before the next race at Brno in two weeks. The fast but error-prone 250 star has been offered the new slot in Jorge ‘Aspar’ Martinez’s new MotoGP team next year, with the extra lure of a possible Ducati factory contract if he is successful. Bautista had previously been linked with a possible move to Suzuki. n Will John Hopkins be making a surprise MotoGP return? Strong rumours had him replacing the sofar disappointing Niccolò Canepa in the Pramac Ducati squad … but Canepa’s eighth place in Britain may have put a stop to that. 1 Lorenzo commits to musical chairs begi THE music has stopped for Jorge Lorenzo, now reported certain to stay at Yamaha, after flirting with a switch to the Honda factory team. The decision, not yet officially announced, ends weeks of speculation, and releases a logjam among all the riders seeking contracts for 2010. Lorenzo is reported to have dropped his demands for a salary hike to bring him more into line with Valentino Rossi, according to the Spanish Press. He could have earned more over the next two years, he said, “but if the results are bad, then it is finished”. He has watched Pedrosa’s reputation slump along with a run of bad results at Honda, and preferred to stay alongside Rossi, to face his rival head to head on equal machinery. This takes the pressure off HRC’s pair or Repsol riders Pedrosa and Dovizioso, both of whose contracts expire at the end of 2009. It also means there will be no second factory Yamaha seat available, making the two satellite seats at the Tech 3 team even more keenly sought after. Both incumbents, Edwards and Toseland, have expressed a wish to stay, but the team has many other enticing prospective riders knocking on the door. These include Chris Vermeulen – hacked off with Suzuki’s poor performance and openly admitting