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GP Week : Issue 126
to access a huge global audience ADVeRTISe in gPWeeK HIGH SIDES n Wild card Ben Bostrom showed the full-timers some good manners at the pre-race Press conference. Thanked in the normal way by the moderator after his round of questions, he replied: “Thanks for having me.” At 37 the oldest GP debut rider, Bostrom had been generously released by his US Superbike Suzuki team to race the second LCR Honda. n Jorge Lorenzo had another conference witticism, when asked the reason for qualifying times being slower than the year before. “Maybe it is because we are older,” he said. n Moto3 bikes – the 250 four- stroke replacements for 125 – will get a first official championship outing later this year at the European championship meeting at Albacete in Spain in October. The purring singles will be pitted against the purebred racing two- strokes they will replace next year, on a head-to-head basis. n Yamaha, celebrating 50 years of racing at Laguna, have released another of their annual short videos, timed to coincide with the big race. Heroes ancient and modern – Roberts, Rainey, Lawson, Lorenzo, Spies, Edwards and Crutchlow – take a journey together through time. Worth watching (hunt YouTube) for the hairstyles alone. n On the subject, the bikes were in the same classic Yamaha red- and-white livery as at Assen, where Ben Spies won his first GP. Hence his request to Yamaha: “If I win here, can I keep that colour for the rest of the year?” n Ducati President and CEO Gabriele Del Torchio was a looming presence in the Laguna Seca pit, but it was just a routine visit, according to sources at the beleaguered team. WITHLaguna the tenth of 18 rounds, it seems inevitable that both the factory Ducati riders will be forced to go over the engine allocation for the year – with the penalty of having to start from pit lane for each transgression. The total engine allocation for the year is six. Both Rossi and Hayden are already up to engine number five. At the same time, the switch from GP11 to GP11.1 means that engines still available for the old bike are of no use: the Dot One version uses a different motor, sleeved down from next year’s 1000cc-rules engine. For Rossi, that means just three engines for the rest of the season. One is still in an unopened box, but another is already close to mileage, after running three races, and the other will soon be there as well. Hayden’s situation is more complex, depending on when he switches to the Dot One. He is also on his fifth engine, broken out for his back-to-back test at Laguna’s first free practice. Whichever bike he chooses, he too has only one unused engine remaining for the last eight races. While all Yamaha riders are now on their fourth engines, it is different at Honda. The three factory riders each have three unused engines available. Only Toni Elias has used a fifth engine ... broken out from his allocation for his part-time team-mate Ben Bostrom. Honda ahead in engine use 16