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GP Week : Issue 157
at BRIEFLY » Cal Crutchlow was a day late in getting a full test of the new Yamaha engine, after becoming the first of four riders to crash it. The fast Briton was caught out by a damp patch under a bridge into the fast turn four, and the subsequent 125mph crash left the bike too badly damaged to ride again until Aragon tests on Wednesday. Crutchlow lot skin but escaped serious injury, and posted third-fastest time at Aragon. » Aprilia may be feeling the benefit of the new CRT rules, having supplied four of nine privateer riders with their rather effective ART machine. But that didn’t stop racing director Gigi Dall’Igna criticising the series. MotoGP had made several wrong decisions, he said, and the rules were unstable, he told Italy’s prestigious Gazzetta dello Sport. “Also, we don’t agree with the adoption of a standard ECU,” he said. Aprilia’s original MotoGP entry fell short and they quit in 2004, although dominating in 250 and 125. Then they were squeezed out with the switch to four- stroke Moto2 and Moto3. » The Santa Monica raceway at Misano was officially renamed Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli in honour of fallen local hero on Saturday, with a logo in which the double ‘l’resembles his twin red helmet stripes. His father and mother Paolo and Rosella were present at the ceremony. Factory Repsol Honda riders Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa have confirmed their dismay at the mid-season switch to a new softer-construction front tyre, with the so-called '33' the only rubber available from Silverstone next weekend onwards. While other riders have universally praised the better feel and performance of the tyre, so far available at only two-per- weekend, the Honda pair has been out on a limb with their long-standing criticism. Every other factory rider chose the “33” for the Catalunya race. The tyres were introduced as a trial pre-season. The enthusiastic response of all other riders persuaded Bridgestone to bring them on stream from race six. From the start, they didn’t suit the factory Hondas: “They’re softer and they squish more under braking,” explained Stoner. This made the bike less stable. Monday’s test confirmed the softer tyres add front chatter to existing rear chatter.” Asked why the satellite Honda riders were not suffering, Pedrosa responded: “Look at their lap times.” The Spanish rider was forthright in his criticism. “We already had issues with chattering on the rear and now we have also with this new front. It's just an unfair situation for Honda,” he said. “The reason they say for changing the tyre is safety, but at the moment it’s not safe for us. We are riding on the limit every lap.” Stoner was more phlegmatic. “The new front tyre has created more chatter in the front. We don't like it but we’ll make our bike work around it.” HRC vice-president Shuhei Nakamoto added his criticism. “We don’t like the way they force the new construction tyre from the middle of the season, but as it is decided, we have to cope with it,” he told inter viewer Yoko Togashi. PEDROSA SLAMS UNSCHEDULED TYRE SWITCH New Bridgestone “Unfair and Unsafe” 13 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: MOTOGP >>> NEWS