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GP Week : Issue 83
There was a special feeling in the air at Le Mans. A feeling that we are witnessing something very important in racing -- the changing of the guard. For a second straight race, Valentino Rossi came off second-best to his team- mate Lorenzo. Over at Honda, for a second time in three races, junior team-mate Dovizioso defeated Pedrosa. This time, he beat him in a straight fight in the last laps. And at Ducati (though the situation is rather different), Hayden once again achieved a strong finish, while Stoner went home with zero points. Rossi put a brave face on it: "Sometimes you don't have enough speed to win. Before you could try to invent something, but with these tyres and electronics, if you do that, you just crash." But a second defeat may be the start of a trend. No longer is the Rossi/ Burgess combination unbeatable in finding the best settings; no longer can Rossi put his team-mate in his place at will. How much more of this will he be prepared to put up with? Changing of the guard 26