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GP Week : Issue 110
– Email us Something to say? Email us at email@example.com Unfair marshalls What is worse, being stupidly taken out by a multiple world champion or having to sit idly by as the marshal’s do everything in there power to get Rossi back in the race? Casey’s bike had to be lifted off the Ducati and the marshals’ literally turned their backs on the Aussie. I’d be pissed off too. Strip Rossi of his points, unless Dorna is too scared to. Warren Furze firstname.lastname@example.org Race or Rock Show? I'd like to ask the organisers of the Australian GP a question – are you putting on a grand prix or a rock concert? Saturday – throughout the afternoon fans sitting in the final section of the circuit were subjected to a loud, thumping techno noise, which made hearing the on track commentary impossible, including during the much anticipated F1 qualifing. Sunday – the inane 'music' started up early and ran through to an hour before the GP start, when another deafening band appeared. Again it was impossible to hear the commentary and it ruined the build up in atmosphere before the race. It then continued throughout the GP, so loud it even overpowered the sound of the F1 cars – what a joke. Both locals and international visitors, complained about this nonsense over the weekend. F1 fans come to hear, watch and involve themselves in a great sport, not listen to second-rate music. A good event ruined by the organisers not understanding the needs of F1 fans Les Clayton, NSW Australia email@example.com More Mini Good to see the first 2011 issue of GPWEEK, keep it up! Two points on rallying – there never seems to be a "classified result" table for WRC or others – and how about some pictures of the new MIni? Peter Robinson firstname.lastname@example.org ED: See WRC news pages for Mini latest! The Australian GP may have looked like a lovely summer y affair designed to instill envy among the millions in Europe who set their alarms to a dark and gloomy Sunday morning but, as you may have seen from the practice sessions, it was a rainy, cold, blustery affair during the preceding days in Melbourne. Not what I packed shorts and sun cream for. Typically, the day we all left – Monday – was also glorious. But the great thing about being a driver or a journalist, basically someone without a real job – unlike the engineers who now have a mountain of work to do before Sepang – is that we get to scatter ourselves across Asia and put our feet up for a few days. Most head for the beaches of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. I had a flight booked to Kuala Lumpur and no onward plan until a last- minute suggestion from Sutton Images photographer James Moy prompted me to put my chips on Koh Samui. And I’ll describe the reasons behind the gambling metaphor in a minute. Flights from Melbourne land at KLIA, while flights to Koh Samui go once a day from an airport on the other side of town, Subang. As soon as I got to KLIA I went online, booked my flight and accommodation with no problems, and took a taxi for the hour-long drive. At Subang I checked in, sat in the lounge and waited. And waited. Then it was announced that Koh Samui was under water and that we should come back tomorrow. In future I will check the weather before I go somewhere. It had been raining incessantly in Southern Thailand for six days. Was it even worth going? Well, the flight and hotel was paid for... take a gamble? We did. And so did some guys from German F1 broadcaster RTL who had the same original plan. We chummed up, stayed the night in Subang, and opinion ADAM HAY- NICHOLLS GPWeek Editor In search of the sun – climatic gambling At this early stage of the season, with the factory Ducatis going slower than they did last year when all the rivals have speeded up, it is becoming increasingly clear what the small-fry Italian factory needs to change the situation. It is a special piece of equipment, fairly small, with a big toothy grin, piercing eyes, and an Australian accent. It’s called Casey Stoner. Admittedly we are only two races in, but the picture for the post-Stoner Marlboro Ducati team is not bright. New rider Rossi, hampered as he is by an injured shoulder, has so far failed to work the magic that was expected of him and his crew chief Jerr y Burgess. He did go a bit faster at Jerez than at Qatar, up to sixth in free practice, though still a full second slower than Pedrosa’s Honda. He probably would have stayed thereabouts in qualifying, MICHAEL SCOtt MotoGP Editor opinion What Ducati needs, it can't have! 22