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GP Week : Issue 168
at BRIEFLY » Valentino Rossi spent his latest off weekend racing his Monster Energy-backed Ferrari 458 Italia in the three hour Nurburgring round of the Blancpain Endurance Series. Rossi, BFF Alessio Salucci and Andrea Ceccato qualified 13th, but less than a second from the class leader. The team completed 85 laps in the race, one short of the race winners, and finished ninth overall. » Hector Barbera joins the list of MotoGP riders whose careers went south at Pramac Racing. The Spaniard is slated to join the Avintia Blusens CRT team after a year on the Ducati prototype. Randy de Puniet took a similar route after riding for Pramac in 2011; this year he’s on the Power Electronics Aspar ART. Loris Capirossi, his 2011 teammate, retired. De Puniet’s Power Electronics Aspar teammate is Aleix Espargaro, who rode for Pramac in 2010. Mika Kallio, who rode for Pramac in 2009 and 2010, is now in Moto2 with Marc VDS Racing. Niccolo Canepa, who raced alongside Kallio in 2009, moved to Moto2 then to World Superbike. » 2011 125cc World Champion Nico Terol hasn’t had the easiest transition to Moto2; now he’ll have two more years to get it right. Terol has agreed to terms to stay with the MAPFRE Aspar team through 2014. The Spaniard didn’t score points in his first three Moto2 races; since then, he’s scored points in seven of nine races with a best finish of 12th in Brno. “This year has been a little more tricky than we'd hoped but it has been a learning process in Moto2 and we are getting ready for next season,” he said. » Team Italia FMI’s Roman Fenati finished a close third in the second of his home grands prix at Misano at the end of a week that included a run-in with the local authorities. Fenati and his grandfather were unloading a car in front of the family’s hardware store when they were told to move by a police officer. Fenati and the cop exchanged words, after which the commander drove off, running over Fenati’s foot, forcing him to a local hospital. There was some damage, but nothing that prevented him from nearly winning the second grand prix of his rookie season. The 2012 MotoGP World Championship may have been decided by defective parts, if we’re to believe the Cardion AB Motoracing team of Karel Abraham. The Czech rider discovered a faulty clutch piston seal – the second one on the weekend – on his Ducati Desmosedici GP12 on the sighting lap of the Misano Grand Prix. Abraham raised his hand to signify trouble on the start line, setting into sequence the events that would cause the start to be aborted, then delayed, during which time pole-sitter Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) had a problem with his front brake that caused his team to roll his Honda RC213V off the grid. That, in turn, put him on the back row for the eventual re-start. Pedrosa was working his way through the field on the first lap when he was taken out by Pramac Racing rider Hector Barbera, likely ending his 2012 title hopes. The Spaniard had arrived in Misano riding a two race winning streak which had brought him to within 13 points of Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo with six races remaining. Now he trails by 38 points. In a statement, Abraham’s Cardion AB Motoracing team, said, “Our team and our mechanics did their best to prepare the bike for the race. By coincidence, we had technical difficulties with two identical parts during one weekend; it would be misleading to blame Karel Abraham, as the rider, or Cardion AB Motoracing mechanics.” The statement went on to point out that “Our team too lost the chance to collect world championship points in Misano due to these technical problems, since we had to use a spare bike and start from the pit lane. In addition, due to a malfunctioning rear brake, hydraulic brake fluid leaked onto the rear wheel, causing Karel to fall.” ABRAHAM CLUTCH PROBLEM THE CAUSE OF MISANO CHAOS MOTOGP >>> NEWS 14 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: