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GP Week : Issue 163
at BRIEFLY » Colin Edwards will ride the Suter-BMW at Laguna Seca next weekend, after testing Pirro’s FTR Honda and one of the FTR Kawasakis the day after the Mugello race. A planned run on Pasini’s ART fell through when the team elected to miss the test. The Texan’s team has already changed their Suter chassis for FTR in Moto2, and are poised for the same change for their MotoGP CRT effort. » Maiden Moto2 champion Toni Elias is poised to return to the Gresini team for whom he won it, after being dropped by the Aspar team after yet another disappointing race at the Italian GP. His place is to be taken by fellow- Spaniard Jordi Torres. The rider under threat at Gresini is Englishman Gino Rea. » Promoter of the still putative GP in Austin, Texas next year Kevin Schwantz has come out in support of compatriot Nicky Hayden’s battle to keep his Ducati seat, apparently under offer to Cal Crutchlow. Nicky doesn’t deserve it, Schwantz told the Superbikeplanet website. “Crutchlow claims he could win on a factory bike, but he hasn’t even got a damned podium yet,” he said. The 1993 World Champion implied the possible loss of another American rider (Edwards expected to retire) could threaten the race, planned to pair with the equally uncertain Argentine GP early next year. Honda’s 2013 prototype, rushed out six months early in a bid to solve problems with the latest Bridgestone tyre, ticked only some of the boxes for Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa at post-race Mugello tests, with Stoner saying: “It wasn’t really the test we were looking for.” He was referring to the chassis. He had better news of the engine. “It’s a little smoother and some more power,” he said. “As far as chassis goes I didn't find any real benefits. A few small areas improved but nothing for the lap time.” He named a “marginally better feeling under braking”; but said the main problems of chatter and lack of mid-corner feel remained as before. “If we can have the new engine with the current chassis, it's the best combination,” he concluded. Pedrosa set a fractionally faster time than Stoner. His view was more optimistic even though a planned long run on the new bike was cut short with a lap-three crash on the last corner, blamed on a mistake changing gear. “We found some positives with the new engine and also with the new chassis.” He also reported “a step for ward” in fixing chatter and front tyre problems. Pedrosa elected to race the new chassis next week at Laguna Seca, but will have to wait for the engine, since he has already taken his third of the allocation of six. Stoner has as yet used only two engines, and is due a third at Laguna Seca. HRC chief Shuhei Nakamoto hoped to deliver the new version in time. Footnote: Honda’s legendary reliability means Stoner and Pedrosa have both run five races so far with the same engine, and after Laguna will have three new ones still available. Of the four Yamahas, only Spies has not already taken a fourth engine. Ducati riders will be taking a HONDA RIDERS SPLIT ON NEW CHASSIS ... ... but new engine gets the nod MOTOGP >>> NEWS Lorenzo on a roll Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo underlined his assured victory the day before by taking bragging rights for top time at post-race group tests, albeit only a tenth faster than his qualifying time and two tenths slower than Pedrosa’s lap record from the day before. With little to test beyond minor upgrades, the Spaniard brought his day to an early end. By then Rossi had also parked up, after a crash. Ben Spies missed the test, still suffering from the ailment that spoiled his race – a suspected virus or food poisoning; but all other factory bike riders were on hand, enjoying perfect conditions at the Italian track. The Hondas took the next two slots: Pedrosa fractionally faster than Stoner; then Nicky Hayden headed the satellite Yamaha pair of Crutchlow and Dovizioso. This was the third post-race test. The first, after the Portuguese GP, was rained off, replaced with a mid-week run at Aragon two days after the second scheduled test, after the Catalunyan race. As well as Rossi, Pedrosa and Bradl crashed without serious harm. Mugello test 11 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: