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GP Week : Issue 112
HIGH SIDES n Teams aiming to enter production-engine-powered “CRT” MotoGP bikes next year still don’t have final regulations on which to base their designs. According to IRTA chief Mike Trimby, there is still “some fine tuning” to be done, but these regs and those for Moto3 will be finalised at the Portuguese GP in two weeks time. n Jorge Lorenzo launched a new photobook in Spain last week, boldly entitled 'The New King of MotoGP', and gave his view on the Rossi-Stoner crash, sympathising with the Australian’s anger. “He was at the head of the race when he went down, taken down by another rider. If that happens to be Valentino and he’s someone you don’t like much, as is the case with Stoner, it bothers you more,” he said. n Potential supply problems from Japan are no threat to Bridgestone’s MotoGP programme. “Luckily Bridgestone escaped serious damage, but in any case the tyres for the coming races have already been shipped,” said a spokesman. n The German GP may have to find a new home after this year, after the organisers at the Salzburgring refused to stump up double the 2-million Euro fee demanded by Dorna from 2012. The race in the former East Germany has played to capacity crowds at the tiny circuit since 1998, when it took over from the Nürburgring. n Abu Dhabi could be the latest addition to the MotoGP calendar as soon as next year, German weekly "Speedweek" has reported. It would be run at the spectacular Tilke -designed Yas Marina circuit at the start of the season, making a double header with the Qatar GP. THE announcement last week of a 10-year contract for a new all-classes MotoGP race at Austin, Texas has left the other two American venues scrabbling to keep their places on the calendar. The new 10-year series, largely brokered by Austin resident and all-time racing hero Kevin Schwantz, will begin in 2013. This gives another year’s grace to the existing events, the US GP at Laguna Seca and the Indy GP at Indianapolis, before the all-new Circuit of the Americas joins the MotoGP calendar. A Formula One GP series will run in tandem with the bike race. But it is considered highly questionable whether the US can sustain three races, especially with other countries including India scrabbling to get onto the list. Laguna Seca has a contract with Dorna until 2014; Indy only a contract for 2011. But California’s Laguna is a MotoGP-only race, and that at Indy is a full-scale GP hosting all three classes. And the Mid-West circuit responded to the announcement of the Austin race with an immediate statement from Speedway president Jeff Belskus, welcoming the new event: “ This can only help elevate the profile in America of this thrilling form of motorsport, which will benefit all existing MotoGP races in this country and enhance the global prestige of the World Championship,” he said, adding significantly: “ We're committed to the growth of the Red Bull Indianapolis GP and motorcycle road racing in the United States.” Dorna announced the new deal last Tuesday, saying the 10-year contract was coupled with “the already scheduled 10- year deal to host the Formula 1 United States GP, for which the Circuit of the Americas ... is currently under construction.” Dorna chief Ezpeleta cited “a wonderful and special relationship with Kevin (Schwantz) for 20 years”, during which they had “often talked about a mutual dream of increasing the popularity of MotoGP in the US.” The Austin circuit, run by Tavo Hellmun, had realised that situation. Schwantz has been involved with the project from its inception, ensuring the F1 track is also motorcycle-friendly. He told the official MotoGP website: “From a rider’s perspective, which is how I look at things, I think it’s going to be a great track ... really challenging.” US shoot-out looms as Texas gets a MotoGP 14