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GP Week : Issue 136
everyone expected Casey Stoner to win at Motegi. Stoner included. the vicissitudes of the race put him third instead, and cut his points lead over lorenzo by four points. As a result, his hopes of securing his second World Championship at home in Australia in two weeks took a knock. Stoner celebrates his 26th birthday on the day of the Australian GP, October 16. He needs to gain a lead of 50 points of more to secure the title. But if he wins and Lorenzo only finishes third, he will be one point shy of that. to access a HUGE global audience ADVERTISE in GPWEEK HIGH SIDES n Casey Stoner claimed his 10th pole position of the season at Motegi – a record in the four-stroke era. Another record fell to wild card entry Shinichi Ito, at 44 the oldest rider in the same era. Ito was a factory Honda rider in the 1990s, and the first to clock more than 200 mph on a motorcycle Grand Prix bike. n Japanese former 250 champion Hiro Aoyama is weighing up two disparate opportunities for 2012 – wondering whether to take a tempting offer to move to the Ten Kate Honda World Superbike team, or to stay with the Gresini GP team to ride a planned CRT bike, expected to have Aprilia power. n As a gesture of goodwill for Yamaha’s celebration of 50 years of racing, Honda opened its collection hall to its oldest rival. Five historic machines – Phil Read’s 1968 RD05A, Kenny Roberts’s 1978 YZR500, John Kocinski’s 1990 YZR250, Wayne Rainey’s 1993 YZR500 and Max Biaggi’s 2001 M1 – were on display. n Another Yamaha celebration saw the father of the Japanese star Norick Abe riding one of his late son’s YZR500s for two demonstration laps on race morning. Three other historic Yamahas also circulated, including one of Jarno Saarinen’s historic 500cc machines from 1973 – the first successful two-stroke racer in the premier class. Smoky and unsilenced, it made a big impression. n A number of riders were secretive about the precautions they were taking to avoid any chance of radiation poisoning at Motegi – but Jorge Lorenzo was happy to reveal that he was not showering at all while he was there. “I am washing from a bottle,” he laughingly told the pre-race Press conference. There were several Geiger counters at the track, including those operated by Ducati’s specially commissioned team. All displayed lower readings than those recorded at home in I taly, both well below danger level. Unlike the 2.9 recorded on the aircraft on the way over. Stoner’s Birthday Treat Denied? SPAnISh teenage sensation Marc Marquez may have to wait until 2013 before making his anticipated move to the MotoGP class, with the rider trying to ignore the question while he concentrates on Moto2, and his manager awaiting news from hRC as to whether the company will be able to provide him with a machine. Moto2 title rival Stefan Bradl has already abandoned his hopes of moving up to the premier class next year, leaving the prospect of another intermediate-class battle between the two next season. Marquez was reluctant to answer questions on the expected move. “I don’t know,” he said. “At the moment I want to concentrate on Moto2. That is my class now.” But manager, former 125 World Champion Emilio Alzamora, thought he would probably have to wait another year. “It depends on Honda, but I am waiting to hear if we can have a bike,” he said. Many tip Marquez as the next Rossi, after his stunning 125 championship last year, achieved with a series of runaway wins at the age of 17. His form in Moto2 this year has been even more impressive. After crashing out of the first three races and the sixth, Marquez has won seven and finished second in the other three. Marquez Unsure about MotoGP Move 16