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GP Week : Issue 103
GPWEEK OPINION >> less the case with Amercian ESPN commentator John Bisignano, who started to irritate me with his mispronunciation of “Prowst”. Many of the people who worked with Senna are still in F1 – such as Keith Sutton, co-founder of GPWeek, who as an enterprising 19 year- old spotted Ayrton racing in Formula Ford and took over writing his press releases. As a great admirer of Senna, it’s a real privilege to hear first hand stories from those who knew him. And of course we now have Bruno Senna with us. On Sunday in Suzuka Ayrton’s nephew drove the Lotus 97T in which the Brazilian took his first two F1 victories, back in 1985. It capped a very special weekend for Senna fans in Japan. Making the difference Not a dry eye in the house eighth. And at Sepang also several changes of lead and a battle that raged to the very last corner. These are not the only ones. In fact, while there have been some processional runs up front this year, you can generally expect a lively battle in the midfield. It’s just that the TV cameras don’t often get back there to look at it. So has everyone been pulling the wool over our eyes? Well, not really. All the original assertions about the 800s remain true. Sadly, they are likely to remain true with the new- generation 1000cc bikes. They’ll have more torque, but unless electronics are banned or radically curbed, and unless tyres start getting slidy again, the same conditions will prevail. And the reason there is lively midfield action is simply because the riders at that level simply aren’t as close to that ideal of accuracy as the front runners. Their lines and corner speeds show some variety simply because they’re not as good as the best. All the same, there is much to encourage frustrated fans in the last two races. Because they have demonstrated that Rossi’s oft-repeated assertion of the past, that the rider can’t make so much difference as before, has somehow become less relevant. He showed at Motegi and Sepang, in different ways, that if the rider really wants to, he can still make a difference. A big difference. And the races showed that there are others who are learning the same lesson. Honda is not alone in treating riders like light bulbs – when one gets worn out, you screw in another one. All the same, racing wouldn’t be much fun without them. Ayrton (above) had a special relationship with Japan. Bruno drives his uncle's car (below). 23