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GP Week : Issue 171
at BRIEFLY » The Moto3 championship is likely to be decided at next weekend’s Malaysian GP: as long as Cortese finishes in front of Vinales he is champion, assuming they will be battling up front. Moto2 is in a similar position: Marquez needs to be in front of Espargaro to convert his current 50-point lead into a certainty. MotoGP is more likely to be decided in Australia the following week. Lorenzo has an 18-point advantage, and would need 50 when he leaves Sepang, which is impossible even if he wins and Pedrosa doesn’t finish. » The French Tech 3 team reinforced the entente cordiale still further at Motegi, announcing that they have signed Moto3 race winner Danny Kent to take over from compatriot Bradley Smith in their Moto2 team next year. Smith moves up to MotoGP alongside third Englishman Cal Crutchlow. Kent’s team-mate however will be French: the recruitment of Louis Rossi was announced last week. » Carmelo Ezpeleta’s assertion that World Superbikes use as many as 29 engines a year was promptly disputed from Italy, by a writer on the GPOne website. BMW had used just 12 for a full season campaign with Marco Melandri, the report said, and this was similar with most other teams. Ezpeleta had been pointing out the disparity between the high state of engine tune (and fragility) allowed in the production-based series, while exotic MotoGP prototypes are limited to six a year. The biggest threat to Jorge Lorenzo’s World Championship may not be Dani Pedrosa. The points leader is fast approaching the outer limits of his allocation of six engines – and is in danger of a pit-lane race start if he has any more problems. Lorenzo lost a new engine at Assen when he was knocked off and it revved itself to destruction. Four races later team-mate Ben Spies also lost a nearly-new motor with a smoky blow-up at Indianapolis. While most factory riders took sixth of six allocated engines out of the waiting room at Motegi, Lorenzo had already done so at Aragon. He now has only one available engine that has done less than three races ... the new one he raced at Aragon. Depending on use in practice, engines are generally retired after three races, sometimes four ... though Dovizioso did get five out of one Yamaha engine, while Honda riders Pedrosa and Bradl have also done that number. With three races to go, even without problems Lorenzo might have to limit practice laps, reduce his rev limit, or take the risk of racing a potentially over-tired motor. Title rival Pedrosa also took his sixth engine at Motegi, but still has plenty of fresh slightly used motors available. Hayden and Bautista have yet to take a sixth engine; while Stoner – who missed three races – is still only on his fourth. MOTOGP >>> NEWS LORENZO AND THE LOST ENGINE Yamahas on the edge of engine endurance 10 GPWEEK.com // 10 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: