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GP Week : Issue 159
at BRIEFLY » Anodisasgood as a wink, and Bridgestone’s response to the Repsol Honda riders’ barrage of criticism was as subtle as you like. Both Stoner and Pedrosa have slammed the new soft-construction front introduced as the only choice from Silverstone on, the latter even suggesting they were “dangerous”. The Japanese company’s post-Silverstone statement pointed out gently: “It was pleasing that both Repsol Honda riders were on the podium at Silverstone as this was the first time they used the new specification front slick in a race.” » With the Spanish banking crisis already threatening the Bankia sponsorship of the Aspar Moto3 team, and other teams reportedly still awaiting part or all of their payment, the voluntary liquidation of the Italian Pramac company at the end of May after the loss of 100-million Euros is the latest chill wind to hit MotoGP. The Pramac-backed MotoGP team dropped from two satellite Ducatis to one this year, and is thought unlikely to continue next year. With second satellite Ducati team rider Karel Abraham (AB Cardion) also unlikely to stay with the brand, this leave only the two factory Ducatis on the grid. » With PBR rider James Ellison now running more strongly after early handling problems, Britain’s only MotoGP team owner Paul Bird has repeated his promise to build his own chassis for his CRT team – and promised an all-British two-rider squad. Shane Byrne is earmarked for the second ride. Honda is to build a replica of its current 1000cc MotoGP racer for sale to private teams, and the bike will be on the market for the 2014 season. The plan was confirmed by HRC vice- president Shuhei Nakavmoto, who told pressmen that the target price was one million Euros. This compares with a price of more than three million to lease a pair of machines that must be returned at the end of the season. The news was welcomed by Mike Trimby, general secretary of teams’ association IRTA, as “a brilliant idea, something we would like to see more of, to give independent teams the chance to be more competitive.” It promised a return to racing years when production- racing Suzukis, Yamahas and Hondas had swelled the grids, from the 1970s to the 1990s. The news had not taken him by surprise. “I know Dorna has been pushing Honda very hard,” he said. The same pressure had been brought to bear on other manufacturers, but as yet without response. “I don’t know of any other such bikes in the offing,” said Trimby. Nakamoto said the bike would be of “factory” status, but Trimby thought the bike would fall under CRT rules, which allow two litres more fuel and 12 rather than six engines for the season. As a full racing bike in small-scale production and for sale, “It’s along the lines of the Aprilia ART” he said. Suzuki may be planning a similar future for their in-line MotoGP machine, spy shots of which were recently leaked. HONDA TO BUILD MOTOGP ‘PRODDIE RACER’ 11 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: MOTOGP >>> NEWS