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GP Week : Issue 168
MOTOGP >>> NEWS MOTOGP >>> NEWS at BRIEFLY » A special ‘SIC 58’ Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade designed by Aldo Drudi, the designer best known for his work on the helmets of Valentino Rossi and Kevin Schwantz, has fetched 50,110 euros in an eBay auction, with proceeds going to the Marco Simoncelli Foundation . The Drudi paint job features Simoncelli’s number 58 in red on the fairing, which is mostly white. The proceeds of the sale of the bike, which was a gift from the Honda Racing Corporation, will be used to support the foundation’s humanitarian activities in Italy and elsewhere. » After two years of struggling with the Indian Mahindra squad, young Brit Danny Webb is moving to the Suter Hondas of the Ambrogio Next team under the World Wide Communications umbrella. The contract is one-plus-one year contract. This season Webb has failed to finish seven of 10 races and has yet to score a point. His best finishes are a pair of 18ths in Qatar and Mugello. “First of all, I want to thank Mahindra for all the support they have provided to me in the past two years. It is true to say that, if it were not for them, I would not be here,” Webb said. » Plagiarism among PR flacks? Certainly it appears that way if you look at the release issued by the Pramac Racing team, a team not known for their English fluency. Part of the release following Barbera’s takedown of Dani Pedrosa on the first lap in Misano read: “Unfortunately, when I followed Dani’s wheel I lost my braking point and hit the brakes far too late. I tried to slow the bike down, but I lost grip on the front.” It was clearly ‘borrowed’ from a San Carlo Honda Gresini apology after Alvaro Bautista took out Jorge Lorenzo in Assen: “Unfortunately, when I followed Dovizioso’s wheel I lost my braking point and hit the brakes far too late. I tried to slow the bike down, but lost grip on the front and low-sided.” Both riders were “very disappointed”, admitting “It was my fault that he crashed out and I apologise profusely to him for that.” CASEY AIMING FOR MOTEGI COMEBACK Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner could return to the MotoGP grid as early as the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi. The two-time world champion wrote about his possible return date in a blog post after meeting with his doctors. He said they were “happy with my recovery, but we will know more in a couple of weeks, so no confirmed return date yet but I'm hoping for Japan.” The return at Motegi would give him two races to get ready before trying to win a record sixth consecutive Australian Grand Prix in what is expected to be his final GP at his beloved Phillip Island. (He’s currently tied with Valentino Rossi at five consecutive wins.) Following Motegi the championship moves to Sepang for the Malaysian Grand Prix, then Phillip Island. Stoner was more expansive in remarks to a reporter from Australia’s Channel Seven, who he spoke to during a visit to Sandown Raceway south of Melbourne at the 10th round of the Australian V8 Supercars Championship. He said his recovery was continuing apace, but admitted that “it’s going to be tough to make it six in a row, but we’ll definitely be there, even if they have to duct- tape me to the bike. I’ll definitely be lining up for that one. “I’m hoping to get back for a couple before that, but we’ll see how things go and cross the fingers we can be back there.” Stoner’s appearance at Sandown further fuelled speculation that he’d be moving to the Supercar series in the future. "I’m hoping to,” he said. “It’s been a long time dream of mine. Just recently I’ve shown more interest.” Further adding fuel to the fire is the decision by the team to take on Red Bull, Stoner’s personal sponsor, as their title sponsor next year in place of current backer, Vodafone. 15 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: