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GP Week : Issue 104
HIGH SIDES n A supposed snub by Lorenzo to Spies at Malaysia turned out to be no more than a storm in a teacup – or more accurately an internet phantom. Lorenzo inadvertently ignored Spies’s proffered hand of congratulation in the moments after stopping, but the American confirmed there were no hard feelings: “I know how it feels at that moment. He probably thought I was another corner- worker trying to shake his hand.” n Nico Terol and Julian Simon will both stay put in their current seats with the Aspar team next year, the former in 125s and the latter in Moto2, it was confirmed at Phillip Island. n Moto2 winner Alex de Angelis agreed with fellow Misano crash victim Scott Redding that they would not spray champagne on the rostrum in Australia, in honour of Shoya Tomizawa, who died in the incident. But Scott Redding is under 18, and wasn’t given any champagne anyway. n Redding, rapidly finding his feet in Moto2, may get a chance to test a prototype of the 2012 CRT production- based MotoGP bikes at Valencia, due to links between his Marc VDS team and chassis manufacturers Suter. The BMW- powered 1000cc prototype is already undergoing tests, and the Briton is earmarked to try it at the post-season tests. n Wayne Gardner’s son Remy (10) will meet up with Valentino Rossi’s half- brother Luca Marini on track later this year – in Spain, for the Honda NSF100 European Cup Final at Albacete on October 22-24. “I can’t keep up now; he’s too fast,” Gardner said of his son. n Valentino Rossi’s side-kick Alesso ‘Uccio’ Salucci was confirmed as a new Moto2 team owner for 2011 at Phillip Island, running current series star Andrea Iannone. The team will run with Team WTR San Marino, not on the first list of confirmed entries, but expecting to get there. n Alex de Angelis has abandoned any hopes of getting back to MotoGP. “I will stay in Moto2 next year. I love this category,” he said. VALENTINO Rossi’s campaign to be released early from his Yamaha contract to test his 2010 Ducati has been successful. Strong results in the last three races, along with frequent reminders of the four championships he has won for the company, have finally squeezed a decision from his soon-to-be ex-employer. The news came from Rossi himself after a third successive rostrum had made him the highest-scoring rider at the three consecutive flyaways. He told pressmen: “I have had a discussion with (chief director Masao) Furusawa, and he told me I will be allowed to test the Ducati at Valencia.” This gives Ducati a crucial three-month start on the task of adapting the bike to the demands of Rossi and crew chief Jerry Burgess. With the factory Superbike team unexpectedly closed down, the Italian factory will be throwing all possible resources at making the Ducati/Rossi dream package fulfil all its promise. Indication of an open-minded approach came early, with reports from Italy that they would have both types of engine available at Valencia for Rossi’s test: the Big Bang and the Screamer version, which has more widely spaced firing intervals. The permission puts the squeeze on Rossi’s recovery programme, however. Doctors have told him he needs at least two months to recover from planned shoulder surgery. This would involve re- attaching the tendon, then putting a small anchor into the socket to re-attach the damaged bone section. Rossi was due for tests this week, and his shoulder had been feeling the strain of three race weekends in a row: “I hope they don’t tell me I have damaged it more, and I must not race more this season,” he said. Rossi would have the surgery directly after the tests, in the second week of November. There are a couple of weeks beyond the two-month deadline before testing resumes at Sepang in February. When Rossi left Honda for Yamaha at the end of 2003, HRC would not release him to test before the end of the year, But, said Rossi, “there was more testing allowed then”. Yamaha releases rossi to test Ducati Big Bang and Screamer on the menu 14