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GP Week : Issue 138
AN unaccountable increase in bumps left riders eager for the return to a favourite circuit instead complaining of a dangerous surface a far cry from what they had expected, and demanding a resurface at the Friday evening Safety Commission meeting. Later in the weekend came news: the request would be granted .. . but not until 2013. Winner and pole qualifier Stoner said: “This year it’s a lot worse than in the past. I’m finding a lot more bumps. “ There’s no way to go round them, you can’t see them, and it’s difficult to know how hard to push, because if you go too hard the bumps will cause the bike to chatter ... they’re too high a frequency. “ The sooner they repave this place the better,” he concluded. Lorenzo concurred. “I was disappointed this year here when I found these bumps and this not very good surface in some corners, because Philip Island is a pleasure. It’s really beautiful.” Hayden commented: “I’m having to use some strange lines to miss all the bumps.” For Ben Spies the consequences were more severe, with a big crash early in qualifying that almost ruled him out of the session, “I got a little bit off line and hit a big bump and lost the front – went through the gravel trap at 270 km/h.” Battered and bruised, he only just made it back out later to improve his time. The bumps were officially blamed on the popular V8 saloon races that are the pinnacle of Australian four-wheel sport. Things only got worse with a series of oil spills from support classes – an almost unique feature of the Australian GP. On Friday a historic bike laid a slick in the final corner and another into the classic heart-in-the-mouth turn one; while two national Superbikes also laid oily trails, one into the equally daunting fast turn three.Stoner was one critic. “Historic bikes during a grand prix weekend is not a good idea. It’s like having the sidecars at the Sachsenring ... just a disaster. Every year we get oil spills there.” Hayden backed him up. “ The classic bikes get their own weekend here, but we’re only here once a year,” he said. A further spillage on race morning forced yet more frantic DEPOSED World Champion Jorge Lorenzo will miss next weekend’s Malaysian GP, recuperating from surgery to the fourth finger on his left hand – it was crushed and damaged when Lorenzo crashed at speed coming out of the last corner at the end of morning warm-up. Lorenzo was transported to Melbourne for surgery, but not before Stoner had visited his injured rival to wish him well. Later in the evening Yamaha issued a statement saying that surgery had been successful. “ The surgeon was able to save the nerves and tendons of the injured fourth finger, as a result no functionality will be lost in either the finger or the hand,” the statement read. Unfortunately an extended recovery time will be required, so Jorge will not race in Sepang for the Malaysian Grand Prix. A decision on the Valencia Grand Prix will be made dependent on Jorge's condition after his return to Barcelona.” Team-mate Ben Spies was also reserving judgement on his own participation at Sepang, after pulling out of the Australian GP with the after- effects of concussion from his high- speed qualifying crash. “ When I rode the bike in the morning, I wasn’t there. I wasn’t on top of everything.” Doctors had told him “it could take a couple of days, it could take a couple of weeks. I don’t think it’s that bad.” He planned to stay on an extra day in Australia to help him settle before checking his condition again before the Malaysian GP. Lorenzo out of Malaysian GP Bumps and bangers turn Dream Track sour Riders demand a resurface to favourite circuit 16