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GP Week : Issue 147
Former GP winner and generally luckless battler Anthony West thought his GP career was over and had contemplated retirement – until a last-minute reprieve has saved him. Ironically the career-saving move comes at the expense of fellow- Australian Damian Cudlin. West’s career began in 1998 and encompassed not only success in the 250 class, but a factory ride on the MotoGP Kawasaki, and last year in Moto2 with MZ. This year a Speedmaster ride in Moto2 fell through: once again West was short of the financial backing required, a perennial problem (though an Australia fan once pledged to sell a kidney to back him). He was saved from retirement by a BMW ride in British Superbikes, but had yet to turn a wheel when the call came from the Italian QMMF squad to take over their Moriwaki, after disappointing test performances by Cudlin and a disagreement between rider and team. West was quoted in Italy as saying: “I should point out I was contacted by the team after their relationship with Cudlin was already over.” The Jerez tests saw continuing intensive meetings between racing management and participants, with teams, manufacturers and Dorna thrashing out controversial cost- cutting (and potentially game- changing) proposals behind locked doors. The latest proposal to come from an increasingly desperate Dorna chief Carmelo Ezpeleta, determined to make the championship thrive at an affordable level, is a $1-million-dollar cost cap on lease machines, that may also be applied to CRT bikes. Unlike controversial earlier suggestions this met with guarded approval from the manufacturers, perhaps seeking to make a concession so as to bolster their opposition to other Dorna ideas. These include: • A control ECU for all competitors • A rev limit, at a level yet to be decided • One bike per rider in MotoGP (as in Moto2 and Moto3) • A drop from six engines per year to five Ezpeleta promised a decision on the rules by the beginning of June, to give factories and constructors a reasonable lead time to incorporate design changes. Asked if he expected this to go smoothly, Race Director Mike Webb said: “It was never going to be smooth, while you’ve got parties wanting different things, but it will be agreed. “They’ve all nodded to the one-million cost cap. There are a number of things that, over the past two days, big chunks of principle were agreed. There are still some details to be sorted. “Like any negotiation,” he continued, “I would expect that by the due date new regulations will include most of the things we were aiming for, with some things put off for another year.” LAST-MINUTE SWITCH SAVES ANT WEST’S GP CAREER JUNE DEADLINE LOOMS FOR NEW 2013 REGULATIONS Some may be put off another year Lower fuel consumption Increased power output Less engine wear Improved cold-start ability 12 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: MOTOGP >>> NEWS MOTOGP >>> NEWS