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GP Week : Issue 151
Romano Fenati’s massive 36-second victory in the Moto3 race at Jerez on Sunday put the Italian youngster in select company. Aged 16 and already European Champion, Fenati became the third- youngest ever GP winner at Jerez (behind Redding and Melandri), and the first rider since Noboru Ueda in the 1991 to finish on the rostrum in his first two GPs. Fenati rides an FTR Honda, but only after a last-minute switch by his Italian federation-backed team from an ill-favoured Oral machine. The team is run by former World Champion Roberto Locatelli. The MotoGP rostrum riders all paid tribute to his performance: “I think we have a really good star – he can keep calm and keep his pace, especially in Qatar, where Vinales was a little faster,” said Lorenzo; while Stoner said: “He really impressed me at the first race, but to win by 36 seconds ... that must be a record in the smallest class." NEW MOTO3 STAR FENATI HITS THE RECORD BOOKS at BRIEFLY » Can a CRT team succeed where Ducati has failed? The Blusens Avintia team is having a go, with a carbon-fibre chassis built by one-time would-be engine manufacturer Inmotec, which built a similar chassis for the Spanish Moto2 series. Team chief Raul Romero said: “Ivan Silva set his fastest practice lap with it, but with no real time to test it here because of the rain we are not sure if we will race it.” In the end, they didn’t. » Moto3 rider Niklas Ajo has been disqualified from next weekend’s Portuguese GP at Estoril, after he knocked a marshal over during the race. He was one of many to crash, and when he was prevented from rejoining he pushed a marshal to the ground. An appeal to the FIM Steward was disallowed. » Organisers claimed a race-day crowd of 103,000 for the GP, with a weekend total of 184,000 – but empty seats on the hillsides and in the grandstands suggested the figure might be optimistic, and the total was almost 50,000 down on last year. Massive youth unemployment in Spain, reported as about 45 percent, takes the blame, and augurs ill for the upcoming races at Catalunya, Aragon and Valencia. 13 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: MOTOGP >>> NEWS