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GP Week : 13-Oct-2009
HIGH SIDES IGH SE H H E DE DE D G ID IG S SI HI H H H S n Hayate is almost certainly out of MotoGP, with a two-bike Moto2 entry accepted. Hopes of finding the cash to lease a Yamaha engine for MotoGP have faded, and the team has a two-rider entry accepted for the new class. n More Moto2 news: Toni Elias is reported top of the shopping list for Tech 3's Moto2 team. n And yet more, with Spanish actor Antonio Banderas (Evita, Desperado, The Mask of Zorro, Shrek) moving into race team ownership, in the wake of singer Vasco Rossi and footballer Clarence Seedorf. The Banderas team plans to field Joan Olive. n Ben Spies will be bringing his comfort zone with him to MotoGP. Crew chief Tom Houseworth and mechanic Gregory Wood, both with him since AMA days, will move to the Tech 3 team with him. n British 125 GP winner Bradley Smith made the prestigious Sunday Times magazine last weekend, in a 'Relative Values' feature with his "anxious mother Dawn". "I've always been competitive and selfish and it gets worse as I get older," said Smith; while Dawn said: "All my motherly instincts said he shouldn't be doing it." n Chris Vermeulen's hopes of testing his 2010 World Superbike Kawasaki at Portimao after the last round there have been dashed by his Rizla Suzuki team. There is still one GP to go, and they declined to let him take the risk. VALENTINO Rossi's famed crew chief and pit-box partner Jerry Burgess has weighed in to boost his rider's claims that the M1 Yamaha they have developed together is boosting his rivals at the rider's own expense. Speaking to the official Dorna website, MotoGP.com, the Australian explained how the inevitable aim from the start had been to build such a bike. "Certainly, my objective from an engineering perspective is to make a bike that all riders can ride," he said. "It's a very well-tuned bike that has been developed by Valentino Rossi. Any rider coming to ride this bike doesn't have to worry about development. They have the ability and information that we have put together over many years, combined with the settings we have from the last two years especially -- particularly with Bridgestone tyres." This is an obvious reference to Lorenzo, who used Michelins last year. "It's not as easy to develop the bike as it is to ride the bike," he continued. "We have a rider in Valentino who develops the bike, and we have on the other side of the garage a guy who just has to ride." Rossi first let slip his increasing disquiet about this gift to "my worst enemy" to GPWeek some weeks ago, and since then has complained also about the imminent arrival of American white hope Ben Spies, who will also have the advantage of a well-sorted M1 to start his GP career. HONDA race chief Shuhei Nakamoto has threatened to reduce support for MotoGP, in the wake of a change in engine-use penalties announced at the Portuguese GP. Talking to Britain's Motor Cycle News, Nakamoto explained his disappointment at the change in application of the new rules. Where previously riders lost ten points for each extra engine used (five for the rest of this season, six for the whole of 2010), now they will instead be put to the back of the grid, while constructors will lose the ten points. With six bikes on the grid, this punishes Honda much more than Suzuki, with two bikes. Even if the rider burning up engines is not a title contender, the points will be deducted anyway. "Honda has more chance to have a problem. Maybe we have to cut back our involvement," he said. As reported last week, the change has left Yamaha in limbo, unable to celebrate a triple crown. Either Rossi or Lorenzo must now win the riders' title, while the Fiat Yamaha team is impregnable also in the championship for teams. But in spite of having sufficient points advantage also in the constructors' title, the spectre of possible lost points in the case of engine failures means that celebrations have to be deferred. Honda chief angry at potential p Burgess: Rossi's made a Ironically, Suzuki is thought to be under the most pressure to maintain sufficient reliability to avoid losing points this year. The team was at pains to point out that Capirossi's race breakdown at Estoril had been caused by an electronic glitch involving the quick-shift mechanism, and that the engine itself had not been damaged. 12