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GP Week : Issue 106
Moto GP news >> Images used in GPWEEK are shot by the photo-artists at Sutton Images. Posters available of any shot – CLICK HERE for more information Interested in Aussie V8 Supercars? CLICK HERE to access Australasian Motorsport eNews ... Images used in GPWEEK are shot by the photo-artists at Sutton Images. Posters available of any shot – CLICK HERE for more information Interested in Aussie V8 Supercars? CLICK HERE to access Australasian Motorsport eNews ... The world of MoTorsporTdirecTly Toyour deskTop Issue No. 146 March16 -22 2010 WHINCUP INA FORMULA 1 CAR AT ALBERT PARK REIGNINGCHAMPSSETFORF1/V8 CARSWAPNEXTWEEK –FULLDETAILS INSIDE! POWER PLAY! Aussies fight itout inIndyCar opener – and Will wins! EXCLUSIVE! to access a huGe global audience ADVeRTISe in GPWeeK Record number of crashes at rain-lashed Estoril RAIN, wind and a slippery surface were the reasons for a record number of crashes over the weekend at the Portuguese GP, with 128 separate tumbles over the three days of practice and racing. One victim was Jorge Lorenzo – amazingly, it was only the Fiat Yamaha rider’s third crash of the season. He was thrown high in the air on Saturday morning in a high-side entering the final corner, but saved from injury by his airbag leathers. “I went for the high-jump record, but I only got a sore back,” he joked afterwards, blaming “20 metres of slippery surface” for the incident. Stoner had an identical crash in exactly the same place in the same session, with Hayden also tumbling unhurt. In spite of the numbers, which included an ugly five-bike pile-up in the first attempt at a 125 race, only three riders suffered injuries, a tribute to good luck and good safety equipment. The worst hurt was Spanish Moto2 rider Alex Debon, who broke his collarbone for the third time this season, and the 12th time in his career. This crash bent the titanium plate inserted after he crashed at Assen, and he flew home for surgery. Crashes were first officially recorded in 1996, and Estoril displaces a wet Donington Park at the top of the list: • Estoril 2010 – 128 • Donington Park 2007 – 109 • Le Mans 2009 – 96 • Donington Park 2005 – 93 • Estoril 2002 – 90 • Valencia 2008 – 83 • Phillip Island 2008 – 83 • Donington Park 2008 – 75 • Suzuka 2002 – 75 THE Australian GP is almost certain to be moved to the beginning of the season from 2012, after years of complaints for the riders about inclement conditions on the seaside Phillip Island circuit on the October date. This was confirmed by Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta, who said that with the F1 car GP also in March it would be “motor sport week” in Australia. The decision had come after an even louder than usual chorus of complaint from riders at this year’s race, hit not only by rain but more significantly by cold track temperatures. Rossi was the most vocal, but all riders agreed that it was a waste of such a superb circuit to be battling bad conditions. “ We have spoken about this many times with the riders,” he said. “And we agree. “ The problem is not the weather, but the temperature of the tarmac in dry conditions at the time of year we go there. It is too cool for the dry- weather slick tyres to work properly. “It is impossible to change the date for 2011, but we are planning to run it as the opening round of the season in 2012,” said Ezpeleta. This was in spite of a contract with Qatar that the desert race should be the opening round. “ They are open, and understand the situation,” said Ezpeleta. The other difficulty was that the event would then be within a week or two (or three) of the Australian F1 car GP. The events share the same promoter, the GP Corporation. “ We are discussing it with the GP Corporation, and I don’t think it is a problem for them,” said Ezpeleta. “ The promoters at Catalunya and Silverstone you have the same situation, and in Australia the two events are at two different circuits in any case. Australian GP to start 2012 season? Airbag leathers save Lorenzo’s bacon 17