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GP Week : Issue 63
HIGH SIDES IGH SE H H E DE DE D G ID IG S SI HI H H H S n Colin Edwards is to stay at the satellite Tech 3 Yamaha team next year, according to Speedweek reports. His team-mate remains uncertain, with the spot being kept open for Ben Spies, should he win the Superbike title. Should that happen, it would be an all- Texan rider team. n After impressive rides at Indy and Misano on Kallio's vacant Pramac Ducati, previously jobless GP racer Aleix Espargaro may be retained in the team after Stoner comes back in place of disappointing rookie Niccolò Canepa. More good news for the family, after younger brother Pol took his first 125 win at Indy, and nearly another at Misano. n No mountain high enough for some riders, but Europe's highest peak, the 4,810-metre Mont Blanc, will have to suffice for Pedrosa and Barbera. The pair has joined climber Jesus Calleja and Dakar motorcycle winner Marc Coma in a challenge from the mountaineer, according to Spanish website Motocuatro. After days spent acclimatising at Chamonix, the final assault was put forward to today, Monday September 14, because of looming bad weather. Mont Blanc is a relatively easy but long and plodding climb. n Compared by some to compatriot former 250 champion Olivier Jacque, French privateer 250 rider Jules Cluzel is in a tug of love for his services in 2010. Tech 3 Yamaha team principal Hervé Poncharal announced he has signed Cluzel for Moto2 next year, but the rider responded that he intended to honour his option with the Matteoni team, should they choose to exercise it. Cluzel was a lucky second at Qatar, but has frequently impressed since on a very average private Aprilia. n Rossi keeps on piling up the statistics. His win at Misano was his 19th in the 800cc class, putting him one ahead of Casey Stoner. VALENTINO Rossi's name is again in the financial as well as the sporting sections of the Italian papers, with a firm of accountants threatening legal action to recover more than two million Euros of allegedly unpaid commission. This is a follow-on from a major scandal of unpaid taxes in 2007, as part of the fee claimed by the firm of accountants who handled the situation for Rossi. The affair began mid-2007 with a widely publicised claim for more than 100- million Euros in back taxes from the Italian tax authorities, on the grounds that Rossi had been living in Italy rather than in London, while claiming non-resident status. In the fall-out, Rossi sacked his career-long manager Gibo Badioli; while a settlement was negotiated for a payment thought to be around 30 million Euros. The accountancy firm Cesaroni-Cappellini claims that it is owed a percentage of 170-million Euro savings that they were able to achieve in these negotiations. At a 1.5- percent rate, this would mean almost 2.5-million Euros. Italian reports from the agency and on GPOne.com quoted Massimiliano Tasini of the firm: "We are very disappointed. From February 2008. when the tax dispute was resolved positively for Valentino Rossi, we have kept a low profile to avoid harming the image of the champion." Now the company is to issue a statement detailing their case today (Monday, September 14). If the suit is successful, Rossi would then have 40 days to appeal. During an interview with this reporter at Misano, a slip of the tongue by Rossi suggested the affair may already be on his mind. Talking about race concentration, he described how you had to clear your mind, "because you have a lot of problem always. You have the tax ..." then he paused, laughed, and corrected himself. "Not the tax ... but when you park the car in the wrong place, or your mother wants you to fix some problem in the house ... all these things around, you have to make a strategy to forget when you are on the bike." Rossi also spoke with respect of his new financial adviser. It will be interesting to see if the Rossi camp issues a rebuff to the claim. Rossi in the nancial soup again 12