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GP Week : Issue 87
to access a HUGE global audience ADVERTISE in GPWEEK Schwantz to head up US Honda team FORMER World Champion and motorcycle racing legend Kevin Schwantz has been confirmed as manager of a high-profile wild card team fielding Roger Lee Hayden as a wild card entry for the Indianapolis GP at the end of August ... for Honda America. This means a break from a career- long association with Suzuki, for whom Schwantz won not only the 1993 World Championshivp, but also all of his 25 GPs. Hayden is Nicky's younger brother, and the Moto2 wild card plan was reported last week in GPWeek. Schwantz's stewardship was revealed during the course of this week, and caused a minor sensation. For some years Schwantz has made no secret of his wish to be involved in Suzuki's GP team and programme, but all plans have come to nothing, with stewardship of the team remaining in the hands of a British Suzuki dealer. Asked by US weekly Cycle News about the apparent break with Suzuki, Schwantz was forthright: "I had gotten to the point where I've asked and I've asked and I've made sales pitches as best that I can. I've talked to Suzuki and the Japanese as much as I could to try and convince them that this is something that I wanted to do and to put a big effort in to get it done. "I had made up my mind a year ago that if something else came to me, and it happened to be with a different brand, I wasn't going to stand around and wait any more," he said. Pedrosa survives falling under his own bike REPSOL Honda rider Dani Pedrosa was lucky to escape without injury in a freak crash at the end of the MotoGP qualifying session at Silverstone, when he slipped off his bike only for it to run right over him as he slid along the track. The bike ran up between the tumbling riders leg, with one footrest slashing the leathers on his left leg without touching the skin. Then it passed over his shoulders and continued upright at unabated speed before slamming into the barriers. It had started as an innocuous low-side as he pushed at ten-tenths to try for pole position -- he was already qualified on the front row of the grid. But the bike hit a bump that tipped up back onto its wheels, with Dani trapped underneath. He was stretchered away, but released to walk out of the medical centre after X-rays had given him a clean bill of health. "I was pushing very hard and braking into the corner, then I had a little slide, and maybe the bike went over me," he said, with typical understatement. But reigning 250 champion Hiro Aoyama may be out for several races, after suffering spinal injuries in a heavy fall in race-morning warm-up, with a corner- entry high-side at the ironically named Vale Corner. Aoyama was transferred to hospital in Oxford for investigation, and although able to move his legs might require surgery to repair suspected fractured vertebrae. His Interwetten team confirmed he will definitely not race at Assen, but he is likely to be out for a great deal longer. Aoyama hurt in separate incident 16