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GP Week : 01-Sep-2009
DAINESE, makers of the pioneering rider airbag, have instituted special checks to their experimental equipment to prevent a recurrence of the problem that meant Jorge Lorenzo's suit failed to deflate after his Brno tumble. Examination of the data revealed that the 'D-Air' system had worked perfectly, the Italian company reported, in terms of operation and protection during the tumble. The suit should then have rapidly deflated to allow the rider to remount, if able to do so. Instead it stayed puffed up, and Lorenzo had to unzip his leathers and walk away. The cause was "a minor malfunction in the deflating system," read the statement. In future, the deflating systems will be individually examined before installation, and will be relocated to allow further checks when fitted to the leathers. "Dainese wishes to reiterate that the D-Air Racing has been functioning successfully, with several positive tests as well as use in official races, where it inflated only when needed," the statement continued. So far this year, it had been in successful operation in 11 falls when used by Lorenzo, Thomas Luthi, Marco Simoncelli and Michi Ranseder. Jorge invokes the Golden Age INDIANAPOLIS winner Jorge Lorenzo called to mind the so-called Golden Age of the 500cc class after the race, when answering questions at the post-race conference. He was asked if, after his two crashes and those to Rossi and Pedrosa, whether the level of MotoGP had become "too high now". He raised a laugh by asking in return: "Too high for us?" then continued with a tribute to the American heroes of the late 1980s and early 1990s. "It's nice to ride like this, because it (brings back) the times when Kevin Schwantz and Wayne Rainey and Eddie Lawson were fighting, always at the limit, and sometimes they crashed. "Now I think we are coming to these times again. "I'm happy to be part of this." Lorenzo won US fans by donning a special helmet modelled on cartoon character Captain America -- blue, with a letter A on the front. But the design wasn't quite right, he said, getting more laughs as he explained that not only was the A slightly too large, but also "the wings look like Honda wings". He promised to try harder next year. Dainese promises air-valve checks after Lorenzo 'blow-up' State of ux continues for jobless riders JORGE Lorenzo's Yamaha decision and the confirmation of Capirossi's continuation with Suzuki have not cleared the muddy waters of the rider job market, with as many question marks remaining as before the decisions were announced. Casey Stoner's absence and Ducati's search for a second string to their bow have further complicated the issue. The riders already definitely signed and settled for next year now number seven: * Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo for Fiat Yamaha; * Marco Melandri and Marco Simoncelli for San Carlo Honda; * Loris Capirossi and Alvaro Bautista for Rizla Suzuki; * Casey Stoner for Marlboro Ducati; * Hector Barbera for the new Aspar Ducati team. Two more riders, Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso, are wavering on the brink of staying put at Repsol Honda. But nothing has yet been signed, and cannot be considered done until it is. This leaves the remainder on the edge of their seats, while Ben Spies is waiting in the wings as a possible newcomer. Ducati has said it will decide on the fate of current number two Nicky Hayden in September. It depends on Stoner's future with the team, and whether Ducati can find a top-level replacement. As well as Ducati, the Tech 3 Yamaha team holds the key. Colin Edwards would like to stay there and is riding hard to keep the spot -- but if Spies joins, he might be one American too many. James Toseland also wants to stay, and circumstances may yet favour the Briton if he continues to improve his form. The LCR Honda team is trying to hang on to Randy de Puniet, but he is another possible for Tech 3. Mike Kallio is likely to be retained by Pramac, but Niccolò Canepa's tenure is much less promising. Gabor Talmacsi can bring Hungarian sponsorship money, and will therefore probably be retained by Scot Honda ... if the team continues in the class. But their bike might go instead to a proposed new Honda team for 250 rider Thomas Luthi. Some are definitely looking for new rides. Chris Vermeulen is out of Suzuki, and has a small chance of the second Tech 3 Yamaha ride. Both San Carlo Honda riders Toni Elias and Sunday's second-place man Alex de Angelis are looking for work, and might be headed for Moto2. Or Tech 3? 14