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GP Week : Issue 62
New Moto2 bike joins the crowd ANOTHER Moto2 bike was launched at Misano, when Suter Racing Technology showed the SRT MMX Moto2 to the Press and prospective customers on the eve of the race. Dressed in a black fairing distinctly reminiscent of the origami-style bodywork the same firm made for the Kawasaki GP bike, the compact bike has a price tag of 75,710 Euros -- although customers can save almost 20,000 Euros if they supply their own wheels, suspension and brakes. Designer and former racer Eskil Suter described how the bike had been made very compact, "like a 250"; but was in fact more like a MotoGP bike overall, with the 135 kg weight limit. Ease of servicing was built in, with a quickly detachable seat/tank/subframe, and a self-positioning rear wheel. The fairing had been developed in a wind-tunnel, said Suter. "Aerodynamics will be very important, with the bikes all so similar," the former GP racer said. Suter's track record includes the MuZ 500 racer, as well as the Petronas Superbike engine, and chassis for both Kawasaki and Ilmor. The Suter bike joins an increasingly crowded field, as racing chassis manufacturers world-wide rush to join the part ... with the potential of future national championships in the same class adding to the market. As well as the Suter chassis, Harris Performance Products and the Japanese Burning Blood chassis are already racing in the Spanish national championship. Others expected soon are from Fabtech, chassis suppliers to Team Roberts, Moriwaki, Bimota, Aprilia, Tech 3, Kalex Engineering and TSR Racing. NICKY Hayden has been put out of his misery after Marlboro Ducati exercised the renewal clause in his contract to keep him on the red bikes for one more year. The 2006 World Champion had been left hanging out to dry over the preceding weeks after Stoner's three- race withdrawal, as the team frantically sought a top rider, in case the title-winning Australian does not return at full strength. The main push was for Jorge Lorenzo, but in the run-up to last weekend's Indianapolis GP the Spaniard declined a big- money offer to switch from Yamaha, for a fee rumoured to be 12-million Euros for two years. At the same time, it was no secret that Ducati chief Livio Suppo was also in talks with Dani Pedrosa. By Misano, however, the trail had gone cold (see separate story). "It's been a good week for me," said Hayden, fresh from his first rostrum with Ducati at Indy. "It would have been a real shame, if you look where we came from in the first few races to where we are now, to go and start again, for me and Ducati. We're just starting to get a real good communication and feedback and I'm feeling at home in the team and on the bike." Hayden revealed that one of his previous options had been with Ducati with a satellite team. He added that the doubt of the previous weeks "doesn't exactly make you feel like a superstar, but that's the business." Suppo would not confirm that talks with Pedrosa had come to an end, merely saying: "we will continue with Nicky." But he did insist that Stoner would be back as promised at the next round at Estoril, in three weeks, even though he has not spoken to the absent rider, but only to his father/manager Colin Stoner. "I spoke this morning to Colin," said Suppo on Friday, "and Casey is feeling a lot better. I have absolutely no doubt he will be in Estoril." Hayden con rmed, Stoner "de nitely back" for Estoril 10