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GP Week : Issue 164
at BRIEFLY » Casey Stoner wants only more fast bits to rank Laguna among the top circuits in the world. “It’s a very particular track. If there were a couple of spots with a bit more speed there wouldn’t be many better. It’s very technical, some areas that catch you out, blind corners, blind braking points and so much up and down. It’s very, very enjoyable. » Moto2 tiger Marc Marquez and title rival Thomas Luthi spend three days testing at Portugal’s Portimao circuit last week, evaluating latest developments for their Suter chassis, although engine restrictions meant they had to use stock Honda motors. The Spaniard clocked up almost 1000 km. Improvements could be timely: the recent loss of de Angelis and team-mate Takahashi to the British FTR chassis means Suters are no longer the most numerous bikes on the packed Moto2 grid. » Yamaha’s annual humorous video, casting its GP riders as workers at the US company headquarters, was critically acclaimed, especially be besuited Jorge Lorenzo, cast as the big boss: “Three years ago I was the janitor, now I am the CEO. I prefer this job, because you don’t do anything.” he said. Cal Crutchlow was dressed as a Buckingham Palace sentry patrolling outside, but gloated that team-mate Dovizioso had a lowlier position, cleaning toilets. Dovi was the janitor this time round. Ben Spies’s surprised the paddock with a shock announcement on the eve of the US GP that he would be quitting Yamaha at the end of the season. And the absence of any explanation triggered rumours that linked the 28-year-old with a move back to World Superbikes with BMW, and a return to MotoGP with that company in 2014. It had seemed that Spies, in his second year in the factory Yamaha team, was riding to save his job. In fact the thrice US and once World Superbike champion has “known for some time” he would be leaving. His announcement, pre-empting any Yamaha factory statement, cited “a litany of reasons. I feel the weight of the world is off my shoulders. “I thought this was the right time (to announce it), with all the riders contracts,” he added. Speculation that he might return to race in the US was countered by strong rumours that he had been head-hunted by BMW ... and these were reinforced by a leak on Italian web-site GPOne.com, where BMW Italy director Andrea Buzzone said “We are at a good point with Ben.” Last week, the Italian subsidiary was put in charge of the Superbike programme from next year. Spies reacted to the report with a smile: “I haven’t decided yet, and it’s still going to be some time until I do. Right now I don’t know what I’m going to do. I have many offers from other people.” While there has been no official confirmation, and even some contra- indications, BMW has in the past said they would consider MotoGP only after success in World Superbikes. Achievement of this target was underlined when factory rider Marco Melandri scored a double win at Brno the weekend before last. Other sources suggest that the factory is at work on a MotoGP entry, but is awaiting clarification on future rules before finalising plans. SPIES LINKED TO BMW AFTER SHOCK YAMAHA SPLIT ‘Elbowz’ to head German MotoGP entry? MOTOGP >>> NEWS 11 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: