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GP Week : Issue 127
Moto GP news >> Images used in GPWEEK are shot by the photo-artists at Sutton Images. Posters available of any shot – CLICK HERE for more information Interested in Aussie V8 Supercars? CLICK HERE to access Australasian Motorsport eNews ... Images used in GPWEEK are shot by the photo-artists at Sutton Images. Posters available of any shot – CLICK HERE for more information Interested in Aussie V8 Supercars? CLICK HERE to access Australasian Motorsport eNews ... The world of MoTorsporTdirecTly Toyour deskTop Issue No. 146 March16 -22 2010 WHINCUP INA FORMULA 1 CAR AT ALBERT PARK REIGNINGCHAMPSSETFORF1/V8 CARSWAPNEXTWEEK –FULLDETAILS INSIDE! POWER PLAY! Aussies fight itout inIndyCar opener – and Will wins! EXCLUSIVE! MOTO2 star Stefan Bradl, currently leading the middle-class championship by 47 points from Marquez, has again had to defer his plans for next year, while his Viessmann Kiefer team finalises its own plans, after the disappointing debut of the prototype CRT machine at Mugello tests. The German team, granted an entry to MotoGP next year as a Claiming Rule Team, has asked for an extension in the deadline for their final decision, while they contemplate switching instead to becoming a factory lease team. The 1000cc Suter-BMW machine was more than six seconds off the pace at tests after the Mugello GP, compared with 800cc MotoGP bikes. The result sent a chill through supporters of the second-tier level for MotoGP, where production-based engines will be allowed under looser fuel and engine-number regulations. A report from Britain’s MCN website quotes IRTA general secretary Mike Trimby that the team was granted the extension while it tries to piece together the finances to lease a Honda MotoGP bike. If the team decides to enter as a satellite team, the 30,000 Euro CRT deposit will be returned ... but it still needs to find five-million Euros to finance the project. “Now we will see if there is enough interest in Germany to support a MotoGP rider,” said team owner Stefan Kiefer. There may be other complications: HRC has said it may not have the capacity to supply the same number of machines next year as this. There are currently six Hondas on the 17-strong grid. Bradl’s progress in Moto2 had already attracted the attention of both Honda and Yamaha earlier in the season: before the halfway point he was considering offers from both factories for a learning year or two in a satellite team. The 21-year-old German will come under increasing pressure to make up his mind. WITH Ducati abandon its troublesome carbon-fibre chassis in the increasingly desperate quest to get star rider Valentino Rossi up to speed? In spite of denials from the rider and team spokesmen, sources close to the Italian factory suggest that frantic work during MotoGP’s short summer break includes development of an alternative to the Desmosedici’s unique carbon-fibre mini-chassis – even a full aluminium chassis like those of their Japanese rivals. Ducati Corse chief and the technical genius behind the MotoGP machines Filippo Preziosi told GPWeek earlier this season that he is dedicated to the carbon- fibre concept, and was convinced that engineering solutions could be found to the lack of compliance that riders blame for the machine’s poor feel and steering response. There were many years of experience with aluminium chassis, he said. “ We are just at the beginning with this technology.” At the same time, Ducati is adopting the same minimal airbox/chassis structure to its latest street machine. But Rossi’s arrival, along with experienced crew chief Jerry Burgess, has given weight to a growing view that innovation should not come at the cost of results. The rider has diplomatically replied to questions, saying “it is too soon to think about an aluminium chassis.” It is also probably too late for Ducati to change design direction this year. But observers are weighing the chances of a more conventional chassis solution for the second year of Rossi’s contract. Ducati: chassis switch imminent? Bradl’s dilemma – team delays decision 17