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GP Week : Issue 162
at BRIEFLY » Valentino Rossi said he would be having talks about renewing his contract with Ducati with new owners Audi “in the next week”, and with other options closing down he is likely to stay with the Italian manufacturer. But who will be his team-mate? Ducati are keeping both current incumbent Nicky Hayden and prospective replacement Cal Crutchlow dangling. Crutchlow expected a decision this weekend, “but I’ve heard nothing. It’s not me holding it up, it’s them.” » Rossi’s annual special helmet design for Mugello featured an encouraging message “to all the guys who work with meandforallthefans2–a portrait of Italian singer and entertainer Gianni Morandi, with the motto Restiamo Uniti (Let’s stick together) made famous by the singer at the 2012 Sanremo music festival. It was surrounded by flowers, a feature of the festival. » Colin Edwards hopes to test as many other CRT bikes as he can at Mugello tests the day after the Italian GP – including the FTR Honda and FTR Kawasaki, and the Aprilia-powered ART. He has reached the end of his tether with his unruly Suter BMW, with primitive Bosch electronics. As described last week in GPWEEK, “it’s like a raging bull with a headache with poison ivy up its arse”. Repsol Honda has confirmed its line-up for the next two years, after re-signing Dani Pedrosa and slotting boy-wonder Marc Marquez into the factory team less than two weeks after the no-rookies rule was rescinded at Assen. The announcement came as no surprise, but adds two more pieces to the jigsaw for next year, and closes off any little chink of hope of a Rossi return to the top Honda team. After Honda’s bid to poach Lorenzo came to naught, neither team nor rider were left with much choice. Pedrosa had talks with Yamaha, apparently somewhat half-hearted; while HRC vice-president Shuhei Nakamoto denied that there had been any “big-money offer” to Jorge. Pedrosa’s entire GP career, starting in 125s in 2001, has been with Honda, and he won a single title in that class before moving to 250s and winning consecutive crowns. With 23 wins in 78 starts his win rate of almost 30 percent. His MotoGP career has been less successful, after joining the top Repsol squad in 2006. Mugello was his 107th start with 16 wins – less than 15 percent. HRC vice-president Shuhei Nakamoto retained faith. “Before Dani never won the championship because of accidents. So far this year, no accidents, and his results are very good,” he said. Pedrosa said: “I am perhaps one of the riders with the longest history with Honda, which makes me feel very proud, I had a strong desire to stay here,” he said, adding: “The fight for the championship this year is still open.” Honda’s faith in spite of a low win rate in the big class was reflected by HRC vice-president Shuhei Nakamoto. “Before Dani never won the championship because of accidents. So far this year, no accidents, and his last race was very good,” he said. The win in Germany moved Dani ahead of team-mate Stoner on points, to a close second overall. But Dani’s new team-mate could be a threat by the time both reach the second year of their contracts, both with Honda and sponsor Repsol. “To reach MotoGP with Repsol Honda is a dream come true,” said Marquez (right), who added that his main focus was on the Moto2 championship. PEDROSA, MARQUEZ SIGNED UP FOR FACTORY HONDA TEAM Double Spanish line-up MOTOGP >>> NEWS 12 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: