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GP Week : Issue 162
For a second time this year, location-sensitive electronics have got lost, playing tricks on the rider by delivering the wrong kind of power and response at the wrong part of the circuit. Horsepower and throttle- response maps are manually tailored to each circuit corner by corner, but with GPS banned they have to be triggered by some marker on the track. Miss the marker and the whole thing goes awry. In Portugal, Nicky Hayden’s Ducati got lost in the race after it read an under-track cable on the back straight as the start-finish line. He finished a ner ve-wracked 11th after coping with full-bore power in the slow chicane, and the opposite on the long straight. The victim this time was Jorge Lorenzo, out at the end of qualifying to try to reclaim pole position from Dani Pedrosa. His Yamaha had been fooled when he took advantage of the chance of a short lap – cutting back into the pits without undertaking the track’s second loop, in order to escape from a group of riders to get some clear track. Had he pressed the reset button it would have been okay. Instead, on a lap where he had already set fastest sector times earlier on, “the power was coming down at every corner ... only 50 percent on the last one,” he said. He abandoned the lap, pulling into the pits and banging the tank angrily. There was no more time to try again. LORENZO SHORT-CUT BEATS THE SYSTEM at » Mugello echoed with tributes to the late Marco Simoncelli – including the gift of two Hondas: his MotoGP RC211V given to his family, and a tribute- livery CBR1000RR to be auctioned by the charitable Simoncelli Foundation, supporting care homes for the aged. » Fast French Moto2 rookie Johann Zarco was hit with a 15-place grid penalty after a headstrong move in Saturday morning’s free practice skittled title contender Pol Espargaro. Zarco outbraked three riders into the first corner and lost control, hitting the Spaniard, who was stretchered off with foot injuries. Zarco went on to qualify third fastest, so he started from 18th; Espargaro bounced back to take pole and second in the race. “In a race you might understand it, but in free practice it was too much. He has a bit of a history,” said race director Mike Webb Zarco accepted the punishment without protest. » Mahindra replacement Moto3 rider Riccardo Moretti had an embarrassing start, after replacing the departed Marcel Schrotter. At the start line he tried to press the button operating the start-off software ... but hit the pit-lane speed limiter by mistake. After an ultra- slow first half-lap, he retired. Quadruple podium success for Byrne and Farmer at Oulton. Both PBM team riders did their championship chances no harm in a dramatic BSB round at Oulton Park... silkolene.com BRIEFLY MOTOGP >>> NEWS 14 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: