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GP Week : Issue 119
DANI Pedrosa missed his home GP, and may miss next weekend’s race at Silverstone as well, after reportedly sustaining further injuries while trying to get fit following his broken collar-bone at the Le Mans GP three weeks ago. The injury was plated and screwed, and he would normally have been expected to be ready to race this week. But he announced that “rehabilitation has not gone as quickly as we had hoped,” and that he would not be able to race. `But persistent rumours of further complications hardened during race weekend. At first there were rumours that he had fallen off a bicycle to exacerbate the injury; but other reports were that he had fallen off a Supermotard bike in a training crash and dislocated his other shoulder. Sources close to the Repsol team were citing “a domestic accident” as the reason for the complication, without further enlargement. Pedrosa’s title campaign is already badly dented. Missing another race could ruin it completely. “I think Dani is the only real threat to Casey Stoner this year ... but now he is absent,” said Rossi. to access a huge global audience ADVeRTISe in gPWeeK BOTH Marlboro Ducati riders Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden used the latest heavy-crank version of the Desmosedici engine at Catalunya – citing a small but useful improvement in smoothness and bottom-end response. And Rossi spoke of continuing improvement in the motorcycle ... and as importantly in his physical condition. “I am almost at my maximum now,” he said. “ This was the first time I rode without painkillers. My shoulder was painful under hard braking, but it did not interfere with my braking.” He injured his right shoulder in a motocross crash after the first race last year, and underwent surgery at the end of last season. Technically, he said “the bike has good potential, but there are still a lot of small problems we need to fix.” Front grip was much improved, but they still needed more work to improve grip and stability at the rear. “ The prototype 1000cc bike is already better than this year’s bike, but we cannot incorporate the design to this bike,” he said. The new engine was his third from an allocation of six, but team-mate Hayden’s fourth after he lost one in a blow-up at the third round at Estoil. “I am a little bit worried,” he said. “But if we have no other problems we can make it. Last year we had to turn down the rpm a bit later in the year.” Former Ducati team-mate Stoner lost an engine in a crash at the first round last year, but still made it to the end on his allocation of six. Riders exceeding the allocation have to start the next race from pit lane. HIGH SIDES n Two new machines for next year’s Moto3 class made their debut at Catalunya. One was the Spanish- built BeOn machine, with a 250 single Honda motocross engine, although it can be modified for other engines. The Honda NSF250R is an example of a planned first production run of 450 bikes, with a backward-leaning cylinder, a cassette gearbox and 35.5 kW (47.6 bhp) at 13,000 rpm, and an underwhelming purring exhaust note. It will cost 23,600 Euros, but GP contenders will need to spend more on special kits from Geo Engineering. n Dani Pedrosa’s absence spoils his title chances, but the bigger loss to Honda will be his absence from testing next year’s 1000cc machine, according to Stoner, who has ridden the bigger bike, and loves it. “Different riders have different opinions, important for development,” he said. n Dunlop will be sole tyre suppliers for the Moto3 class, it was announced at Catalunya, along with an extension of the company’s contract as sole supplier to Moto2 until 2014. But the Honda taken on a demo run at Catalunya by former champion Alex Criville was using Bridgestones ... original equipment for the production racer. n Jorge Lorenzo displayed a picture of a cucumber on the starting grid for the MotoGP race, with the legend “Espana Es Salud” (Spain is healthy). It was a response to accusations from Germany, since retracted, that Spanish cucumbers were responsible for 15 deaths from an outbreak of E-Coli food poisoning in Germany. n Toni Elias denied that spending a year away from MotoGP riding the much simpler and less powerful Moto2 bikes (he won the inaugural championship) is responsible for his dire results. “I don’t know what my problems are caused by, but it is not that. Moto2 riders will not have special problems moving up to MotoGP,” he said.Pablo Nieto, because they needed a Spanish rider for their sponsors. Rossi: ‘I am almost at my maximum now’ Pedrosa adds to his injury woes Ducati releases new engine Mystery surrounds training 'crash' ... 16