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GP Week : Issue 131
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 MoTorsporT direcTly Toyour deskTop IssueNo. 146 March16-22 2010 WHINCUP INA FORMULA 1 CAR AT ALBERT PARK REIGNINGCHAMPS SETFORF1/V8 CARSWAPNEXTWEEK – FULL DETAILS INSIDE! POWER PLAY! Aussiesfightitout in IndyCar opener – and Will wins! EXCLUSIVE! THE quirky new surface caught Bridgestone napping, with their range of control tyres having serious problems of both low grip and paradoxically high wear rates. And the problems brought renewed criticism from riders. “ We’ve asked Bridgestone for a lot of things, but never really got any of them,” said Stoner, who joined a chorus in describing the harder of the two rear tyre options as basically useless; cutting usable rear tyre numbers from the usual ten per weekend to six. The softer rear tyre was at least usable. There were more serious problems with the fronts, with Stoner describing “destroying” a tyre in just four laps, and Simoncelli complaining of similar problems. The problem was caused by graining – a symptom of rapid wear. A lack of grip was leading to slides; while the fresh sharp- edged stones in the surface mix were then tearing the tyres up. Lorenzo also had graining problems, “then with one bike we solved it quite a lot, but the lap times were almost one second slower. On the second bike I was much faster, but after three or four laps it started graining the front.” By race day, the results of the graining were obvious, with masses of rubber particles visible on the track at some corners, piling up off the racing line. Hiroshi Yamada, Bridgestone motorsports manager, admitted some puzzlement. The new surface was “a little bit difficult to understand,” he said. They had brought almost the same tyres as last year, and every rider used the hard front. Yamada also compared the slippery but abrasive surface to the desert track at Qatar, “with a fine coating of sand.” AFTER staying in the background and letting Stoner and Lorenzo do the talking, Valentino Rossi has stepped forward to take the lead in the growing riders’ rebellion against racing at Motegi on October 2, at the rescheduled Japanese GP. Remaining tight-lipped on his own decision, Rossi convened a special private meeting of MotoGP riders in his paddock motor-home at Indianapolis on Saturday night. All but three riders were present, in an informal forum that is private from the open-to-all Safety Commission meeting hosted by Race Direction every race- weekend Friday. The riders spoke behind locked doors for more than an hour, but no conclusion was reached, according to Nicky Hayden, and no further plans made. “ We ain’t got that far,” he said. The meeting came less than a week after Yamaha had revealed that it expects both its factory riders, Lorenzo and Spies, to turn up and race. Honda and Suzuki had already confirmed they expect the same of their contracted riders. Rossi was reluctant to talk.”I think the situation is what you already know,” he told pressmen, promising he would make his own decision within the week leading up to next Sunday’s San Marino GP. The riders’ opposition flies in the face of the independent report commissioned by the FIM and Dorna, which gave the track a clean bill of health, mainly because of a widespread mistrust of any information with a hint of officialdom to it. “ We know more or less the political things are always ‘hot’. We can’t know the true story, and so we are scared,” said Dovizioso. The Italian was weighing his decision on whether to obey employers Honda against his chances of getting a factory Honda next year. Lorenzo was deferring his own decision. “It’s a question of trust,” he said. “ You can have all the information that clearly says is good, but you must trust what’s in this information, because maybe it’s not the reality.” Pedrosa sounded a note of realism. “ The situation is that the race is on which means you can’t choose to go or not. Honda expects all the riders to go. Unless something really goes wrong before the GP then the thing should be to go.” Bridgestone also under the whip Motegi: Rossi calls riders’ meeting 19