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GP Week : Issue 169
MOTOGP >>> NEWS MOTOGP >>> NEWS at BRIEFLY » Hopes that the Moto3 class would encourage independent engine manufacturers dwindled again at Aragon, when the Ioda team announced that from next year their entries will switch to Honda power. This will leave only Mahindra as independent from the KTM or Honda hordes – and after the Indian team’s dire experience with the Italian Oral engine this year they will switch to a new unit to be built in conjunction with chassis manufacturers Suter. The Mahindra caused a one-hour delay on the first day of practice after Danny Webb’s engine sprang a major oil leak, pitching the rider off, with several others following suit. It took that long to clean the track. » Rumours that next year’s factory Yamahas will be painted green as energy drink sponsor Monster moves across with Valentino Rossi may be far-fetched, according to Monster Tech 3 team chief Hervé Poncharal. “I have no idea what they plan with other teams, but I know I have a contract with them until 2014,” he said. Monster have personal sponsorship deals with a number of riders including Rossi; Yamaha has been without a title sponsor since Rossi left two years ago. » It remains to be seen whether Ducati’s improved performance means a real forward step, or just a flash in the pan. Rossi was clear that his second place at Misano was at least partly because he had enjoyed two full days of dry testing there, while the others lost three out of four practice sessions to rain. His result at Aragon was spoiled by his first-lap run-off, but he was encouraged because once again he had been able to sustain a good pace after the tyres had gone off ... one of the biggest problems of the bike earlier in the season. PEDROSA’S RUIN: NO ANSWERS YET Mystery surrounds the freak brake problem that ruined Dani Pedrosa’s race – and almost certainly also his championship chances – at the last round at Misano; with Brembo declining to comment and no explanation either from Honda, in spite of extensive testing after the event. The problem struck after the aborted start at Misano. In the 10 minutes before the restart, Dani’s front brake seized solid, and could not be freed. When the bike was taken off the grid after the one-minute board for the second warm-up lap, the brake suddenly freed up when the bike was dropped off the front wheel stand. By then it was too late: pole qualifier Dani was obliged to start from the back of the grid, and was taken out on the first lap by Hector Barbera as he pushed his way through the field. “I know nothing ... but it was not a Brembo problem,” said the Italian brake supplier chief Eugenio Gandolfi. An unofficial theory emerged from within Brembo ranks ... that the stand had trapped a brake line with the brakes applied, and it was released when the stand was removed. This is possible, because Honda use Teflon brake lines rather than the more usual braided steel – but the routing of the lines made it seem far-fetched. Another possibility was that the hot carbon-to-carbon brakes had bonded disc to pads, strongly enough not to be freed by hand, but instantly dislodged by the weight of the bike. 12 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: