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GP Week : Issue 96
End team orders Rossi: An expert a Well, of course he can. Rossi, that is. Win races on the Ducati. That question was easily dealt with, once the long-awaited move was officially confirmed. Luminaries from Agostini to Schwantz and back were as confident as the rest of us. Can he win the championship again? Well now. It doesn't look as though he'll be able to do it this year, with Lorenzo on the same motorcycle. Not unless something really awful happens to Jorge. I'd venture to suggest the same will be true next year, when they are on different kinds of bike. Jorge plus the Yamaha developed by Rossi and Burgess is pretty much flawless; Rossi knows well that the current Desmosedici has some lessons to learn. It is on 2012 that Rossi's and Ducati's attentions are directed. The difficulty for next year is that the design of the 2011 Ducati, like that of the Yamaha, is pretty much finalised. It's not like when he went to Yamaha in 2004. That move cannily coincided with a major engine rethink and the birth of the definitive cross-plane-crank M1 engine, the in-line four that thinks it's a vee. Rossi's riding made the bike a winner first time out, his work with Burgess made it suit pretty much every rider. There was another difference: his rivals then were Max Biaggi and Sete Gibernau. Another 'venture to suggest': Jorge is a higher class of rider than either. The important thing about 2012 is that everybody will be changing engines: new rules and the return to 1000cc mean the major rethink will be universal. Email us Something to say? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org MICHAEL SCOTT MotoGP Editor opinion We're all going on a Summer Holiday God I'm bored. This 'holiday time' for F1 is, as publisher Lambden pointed out last week, a bit rich. Thank goodness that other 'world sport' Football has kicked off again in the past two weeks, or I would be suicidal. Seriously, as the Publisher's piece said, imagine if Football took a three-week mid- season break? For sure, start the F1 season two weeks later, or finish it earlier, but let's have some continuity. Having said that, what a delicious venue to recommence hostilities this weekend, at Spa, given the contest that has taken place so far this year. And thanks to GPWEEK for helping me get through the break, with some interesting editorial. Good to see Peter Windsor join the team.Nigel Mathieson Ruislip, UK Treading the fine line I was interested to read Peter Windsor's interview on the fall-out following the collapse of the USF1 team. While it was insightful to read his comments, mainly on the effect the closure had, there wasn't too much on the actual cause of the failed venture. You know -- naming names, who promised who and didn't deliver. Maybe it is a bit too soon after the event for that? William Rashid Bournemouth, UK ED: Yes, there is undoubtedly more to be revealed over the USF1 collapse -- Peter is, we believe, limited on what can be said publicly in relation to cause etc given that some form of legal action usually follows evevnts such as this these days -- particularly in the US! MotoGP Strangulation? Am I the only one that believes that MotoGP is going too far in its fuel restriction/number of engines limits? The last thing I want to see in MotoGP is some form of 'reliabilty run'. Bikes have a;ways been an economic form of transport anyway -- unlike F1 there's no need to justify MotoGP's existence with this power strangulation. Matt Hornish Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Niki Lauda is terrified of horses. Fact. It'salltodowitharuninhehadwith a stallion at Monza one year. I'm not quite sure if it bit him or what. But I do know he took a mauling last week by the teeth of Ferrari's rather unguarded blog, which goes by the name The Horse Whisperer. The official blog responded to Niki's public view that Ferrari were wrong to issue team orders in Germany, and are going to "get a pasting" at the WMSC hearing. Ferrari has accused the triple- champ of missing out on "a fine opportunity to keep his mouth shut". And go on to point out that he never complained when he was getting the preferential treatment at the Scuderia. Which is, of course, a fair point. But it doesn't make what Ferrari did admissible. We've had a month now to reflect on Hockenheim. We know that team orders are rife and difficult to police. It's generally good for the teams (unless they're exposed, which is damaging to their brand and sponsors). It's not so good for the sport. People have pointed to McLaren, which escaped so much as an investigation when it ordered David Coulthard to yield for Mika Hakkinen opinion ADAM HAY- NICHOLLS GPWeek Editor 20