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GP Week : Issue 58
HIGH SIDES n Intriguing reports of an allnew independent MotoGP entry by Swiss company Suter Racing (see separate news story) have been confirmed in a statement from former World Supersport entrants Gil Racing. The all-new machine will be powered by a V4 designed by Suter, in his own chassis. Gil confirmed agreement in principle with Suter to run a two-rider team in 2010, saying that part of the budget was already secured, and adding that it had informed Dorna of its plans. n Veteran MotoGP racer Jeremy McWilliams, aged 45, will be back on track for the rest of this season, competing on a factory-backed KTM in the German Superbike series. n Team Roberts is still poised for action, after two years of almostthere action with a major sponsor, the MGM hotel and casino group in Las Vegas. The planned MotoGP team is part of a massive motorsport programme including NASCAR and Formula 1. “The idea is still alive,” confirmed erstwhile Team Roberts manager Chuck Aksland. Team Roberts has also put in an entry for Moto2; the England-based constructor earlier pioneered the proposed leaseengine scheme, fitting the Honda V5 into its own chassis. n Colin Edwards, playing a major promotional role for the forthcoming second Indianapolis MotoGP event and a major supporter of his country’s troops, went shooting with the US military at Camp Atterbury in Indiana last week. n Former GP racer Mat Mladin, who moved on after 1993 on the factory 500 Cagiva to become the most successful AMA Superbike rider in history, has announced his retirement at the end of 2009. The 37-year-old Australian’s best GP finish was sixth, but he has won a record 82 US races, and been champion six times. He is well on the way to a seventh title this year. It will be his last. 1 De Puniet’s fitness woes RANDY de Puniet, reckoned by some the most improved rider in MotoGP, has jeopardised his mid-season performance as this year’s second victim of injury in a training motocross crash. The Frenchman crashed last weekend while riding at a circuit near Aix-enProvence in the South of France, and broke his left ankle. The injury was bad enough to require surgery, and the insertion of a screw, and de Puniet is fighting to be fit enough to race at next weekend’s Czech Republic Grand Prix. At the start of the year, defending 250 champion Marco Simoncelli broke the scaphoid bone in his right wrist less than two weeks before the start of the season. He pulled out of the opening round in Qatar, and the injury spoiled his early races. De Puniet was riding with his trainer Yves Demaria, a former motocross champion. A number of riders, including Rossi, include motocross in their training routine. The discipline is not only good for improving overall physical fitness and stamina, but also polishes machine and throttle control. But injury risks are high. Last year, Nicky Hayden suffered broken bones in his foot after a heavy landing at a Supercross event; while John suffered a similar injury while a factory Suzuki rider two years before. Hopkins