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GP Week : Issue 166
at BRIEFLY » No news is possibly good news from Casey Stoner, recuperating after surgery to the right ankle he smashed at Indy, and there is as yet no date on his return. But fellow Indy victim Nicky Hayden will be back at Misano on the weekend, although still nursing right hand injuries. “I’d hoped to be closer along with hand,” he told GPWEEK, “But for sure I’ll come and try. Wish it was the left hand.”Colin Edwards will finally be shot of his “piece of sh*t” Suter BMW at Misano on September 14-16, with his NGM Forward team due to field a pair of Aprilia ART machines, like those ridden by CRT leaders de Puniet and Espargaro. The decision was made before the summer break, but a two-month lead time meant he had to wait. Danilo Petrucci is earmarked to take over the powerful but wayward Suter, in place of his slow- coach Ioda Aprilia. » Left dangling and then dropped by Ducati, British hope Scott Redding is close to a potentially more rewarding ride, replacing the disappointing Alvaro Bautista in the San Carlo Gresini Honda team. His hopes have been boosted by Ben Spies taking the Ducati job. The American had also been considering an option with the Italian team, which has close links with HRC. » It is not certain what specification bike will be available to whoever does ride for San Carlo next year. In the past the Gresini team has been supplied with factory-spec Hondas for riders including Daijiro Kato, Sete Gibernau and Marco Simoncelli – but the promising performance of class rookie and reigning Moto2 champion Stefan Bradl has triggered reports that the German is being considered for similar support next year. In the past, HRC have supplied only one spare top-spec machine. Twelve-times GP winner Andrea Iannone lapped the Mugello circuit faster than factory rider Valentino Rossi at special Ducati tests, where he secured his place as second rider in the new factory-linked ‘Junior’ team. Fellow Moto2 rider Michele Pirro also tested the bike, but Iannone’s progress meant he was pushed to one side in the race for the seat. He joins Danilo Petrucci and Scott Redding (faster than Iannone at earlier tests) on the reject list. The ‘Faster than Rossi’ tag is somewhat notional, however. Iannone was reported to have bettered Rossi’s race qualifying time of 1:48.502 in spite of losing time over the three days to rain. But that was a bad race for Rossi, qualified only tenth, while Hector Barbera put his satellite Duke on the front row almost a full second faster. Although awaiting official confirmation, Iannone indicated to the MotoGP.com website that he expected to be racing for the newly constituted factory-linked ‘Junior’ Ducati team. One reason for the foundation of the team, modelled on Yamaha’s Tech 3 squad, is to develop young riders. “At this stage I’d say it’s almost obvious but it still has to be announced. However anyone can guess where I’ll be next year,” said Iannone, who will join Spies in the squad; adding: “I lapped in 1:48.3 today – I wasn’t expecting this kind of lap time so I’m quite happy.” Asked to confirm the signings, Ducati team manager Alessandro Cicognani demurre: “We will be making an official announcement before Misano – until the details are fixed I can say nothing.” MOTO2 CHARGER IANNONE “FASTER THAN ROSSI” MotoGP recruit shines at special Ducati tests MOTOGP >>> NEWS 12 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: