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GP Week : Issue 109
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 One-rider Suzuki team high and dry Moto gP news >> FORMER factory Suzuki rider John Hopkins, who finished fourth overall in 2007, will be rejoining his old team for the Spanish GP, in place of injury victim Alvaro Bautista. But it may be only for one race, with MotoGP’s only one-rider factory team struggling to find another replacement while their Spanish regular fights for fitness. Bautista broke his femur in practice for the Qatar race, and was reported already taking tentative first steps a week later – the bone was pinned in Qatar, and he had a secondary operation to avoid “compartment syndrome” on his return to Spain. But it is unlikely he will be back until mid-May at the earliest, possibly in time for the French GP at Le Mans on May 15. The Rizla-backed team struggled to find a replacement for the Qatar race, offering the ride to Australian Moto2 rider Anthony West, as well as fellow ex- MotoGP rider Aleix Espargaro. West’s MZ team refused to release him, missing a chance to curry favour with Dorna by helping to preserve the already slender 17-strong grid; Espargaro’s team boss Sito Pons asked for too much money. At the same time, team boss Paul Denning was chasing Hopkins, at home in the USA. Frantic phone calls were in vain: the quickest Hopkins could have got to Qatar would barely have been in time for final qualifying. Hopkins left MotoGP for World Superbikes in 2009, but a series of injuries blighted his career: he is restarting it riding for Suzuki in the British Superbike series. He will ride the lone Suzuki at Jerez, but the next round in Estoril clashes with a BSB round, leaving the bike again without a rider. RUMOURS of BMW entering MotoGP have been a staple for some years ... and were given fresh impetus at Qatar when motorcycle big chief Hendrik von Kuenheim visited the Qatar GP for talks behind closed doors with Dorna. The Spanish MotoGP rights-holding company has been courting the German manufacturer for years, and continued to do so even when BMW apparently turned its back on MotoGP to join World Superbikes in 2009 (MotoGP uses BMWs as the official course vehicles). That was said at the time to be a three-year programme, with 2011 the third. The change in regulations for 2012, to full 1000cc machines, will give non-factory teams an opportunity to use production-based engines, and the BMW S1000RR motor is already considered a prime candidate, with Suter Racing Technologies fitting on to their prototype STR MotoGP “CRT” chassis. But Dorna’s target is a full factory entry from the company, and German sources suggest that BMW might be thinking along the same lines. BMW TO MOTOGP IN 2012? Hopkins to make MotoGP return