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GP Week : Issue 140
THE future of the San Carlo Gresini Honda team is in doubt both in the short term and the long, after team principal Fausto Gresini was left reeling by the death of his top rider and brightest future prospect Marco Simoncelli. This is the second tragedy to hit the highly regarded Gresini team: the previous MotoGP fatality, Daijiro Kato in 2003, also rode for the Italian squad. According to the Italian GPOne website, immediately after the accident Gresini had said he would not compete at the final race in Valencia next weekend. “ The pain is too strong right now,” he said. At the time of going to press, Gresini had pledged to attend the race, where he would set up Simoncelli’s pit box as usual, but was still undecided whether second rider Hiro Aoyama would race. The same was true for his two Moto2 entries, Yuki Takahashi and Michele Pirro. Gresini was personally close to both riders, and was hit hard by the Sepang tragedy. He has made no further statement, but is reported to have hinted that he may quit racing altogether. Twice 125 World Champion before founding his own team based at the Misano circuit, Gresini has been closely allied with HRC for many years, during which he has fielded a number of race -winning riders including Sete Gibernau and Marco Melandri. In both cases, as for Kato and Simoncelli, the team had use of full factory bikes. His 2012 plans have been thrown into disarray by the loss of Simoncelli, who was to race a factory Honda again, alongside a planned CRT machine with Honda power, rider unknown. Gresini Team in doubt after double tragedy 16