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GP Week : Issue 126
Danger for breakfast ... – Email us Something to say? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Michael Scott Fan Club! Hé Michael, Well done, exceptional well done this time! You’re always writing my cup o’tea but now you’ve hit my personal JACKPOT in beating up those hypocrite yellers with “Help Japan” on their bikes, eating Japanese food, riding Sushi and still abandoning when help is needed the most! Keep on truckin’ this way, eh motobiking Michael, you’re doing very fine... By the way, you can also take the Ducati fabric on your viewfinder again – maybe they listen to you and give our Wonderboy the bike (frame) he needs, otherwise we can begin to write a sad pension song for Vale... Ouch, that would be a shame... Peter Muller (photographer) The Netherlands email@example.com Not such a fan ... I am surprised by the support for Mark Webber and Casey Stoner. In response to Fiona Furze and David Owens: the issue is simple. Sebastian Vettel has been the class of the F1 Championship so far this year and team orders or not, he has earned his positions. Webber going to Ferrari? Well, knowing Ferrari and Fernando Alonso, Mark might just as well have 'number two' stitched on his firesuit for the rest of his career. As for Casey, he has shown little respect to other riders throughout his MotoGP career and judging by his actions towards Karel Abraham it looks like that is not going to change soon. Lee-Ming, Australia firstname.lastname@example.org Nurburgring revelation(s) You never quite know what you are going to get from Lewis Hamilton these days, but Germany was one of those great days. Qualifying aside, His moves, inside Webber, then outside Alonso, on that same tricky Turn 2, stamped him as a real racer. Webber, you shouldn't have taken that; Alonso, were you asleep? Anyway, all of a sudden it looks like Red Bull are not total dominators, so even if Vettel has enough points banked to cruise to the title, we may be in for some cracker races. Nigel Andersson Gloucester, UK What is it about German drivers at the German GP? To a man they all under-performed at the Nurburgring. Is there THAT much pressure to succeed at home, or was it just coincidence? Tomas Enderling Hong Kong Was Red Bull Racing’s lack of speed just because the RB7 likes it hot, not cold and miserable? We shall hopefully see in Hungary, because right now everyone in the paddock is hoping for sunshine – or at least some radiators where we can dry our socks. The rain started literally as I arrived at the track on Thursday, right on cue. I saw a sign saying ‘Media Warm Up’ and that sounded ideal. In fact, it was a Mercedes event and the warm up was adrenalin-based. All I was after was a hot water bottle. The sign led the way to the fearsome Nordschleife. Danger for breakfast - it sounds like the sort of line a spoof super-spy might come out with, but that’s what was served up. I was handed a croissant and a helmet and then, strapped in alongside FIA Safety Car driver Bernd Maylander, was hurled down the terrifying 14-mile- long ‘Northern Loop’. This, as you’re doubtless aware, constitutes the bulk of the ‘Ring’s original grand prix track, where Jackie Stewart took the greatest win of his career back in 1968 and, 35-years-ago, Niki Lauda lost an ear. Indeed, I recall on the 30th anniversary of his crash, Niki led a group of friends to the site, chucked a tear of bacon from his coat pocket and announced “look, I’ve found it!” On the wet and greasy tarmac, Bernd’s powerful C63AMG saloon fishtailed around the bends, scrabbling for traction over the bumps. Thank goodness I saved the croissant until after. As we arrived back in the pits, Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher pulled up and jumped into a brace of svelte silver Mercedes W196 racers, in which Juan Manuel Fangio took wins in 1954 and ’55. “It’s nice to start the weekend in a winning car,” joked Schumi as he spoke of the Mercedes GP team’s woes. The old Nurburgring is far more opinion ADAM HAY- NICHOLLS GPWeek Editor The return of pragmatist Jerry Burgess after two races away seems to have stiffened the resolve at beleaguered Ducati. After Germany, the team had been wavering over whether to persist with the new GP11.1, or return to the GP11.0. They ignored the freight bill and took both types to America for both riders. Some straight talking from JB put an end to it. Rossi ignored the old bike; Hayden meanwhile took a back-to-back comparison, then stuck with what he knew. JB’s decision was in character. The new bike is better in some respects, but not its results ... rather the opposite. But it was new, and therefore offered possibilities that had been exhausted on the old one. Therefore, don’t go back. Burgess can call on decades of experience, and no doubt remembers the pivotal 1984 season. In ’83 Freddie Spencer had triumphed on Honda’s simple but MICHAEL SCOtt MotoGP Editor opinion Ducati: backwards, forwards, or just marking time? 22