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GP Week : 13-Oct-2009
New Italian MotoGP team chases Hopkins THE talking continues for the proposed all-new Italian FB Corse MotoGP entry for next year, with the team revealing that John Hopkins is the prime target to ride the three-cylinder machine. But hopes of seeing the bike in action at the last round this year have melted away. A proposed wild card entry at Valencia has been replaced with a planned track debut later in November. A report published on the Italian web-site GPOne.com says that Dorna has given the team special dispensation from the normal MotoGP testing ban, and that the first round of tests is planned at the Vallelunga circuit in November. It will be the first time the FB Corse machine, bastard child of a one-time BMW MotoGP proposal, has turned a wheel, said the report. The three-cylinder pneumatic valve engine boasting F1 technology was designed and tested by Italian firm Oral Engineering for BMW, back in the 990 days. This 800cc version is a further development of the same engine. Oral Engineering has a strong pedigree, including former Ferrari F1 engineering chief Mauro Forghieri. FB Corse Valencia debut cancelled 14