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GP Week : Issue 172
MOTOGP >>> NEWS MOTOGP >>> NEWS at BRIEFLY » Motegi is to stay on the MotoGP calendar until 2018, it was confirmed at the Japanese GP. The extension of the contract enshrines the Honda-owned track, in an area of outstanding natural beauty a couple of hours outside Tokyo. It was first used in 1999, and took over completely from Suzuka in 2004. » Alvaro Bautista’s second rostrum of the season came days after his career doubts had been swept away with a new contract for another year with the San Carlo Gresini Honda team. The Spaniard, adapting to the Honda after two Suzuki seasons, had been in danger of being dropped, with Ben Spies and Cal Crutchlow both being considered for the ride. » Hot MotoGP rookie Stefan Bradl has become the latest victim of the dreaded ‘arm pump’, triggered by the punishing braking at Motegi. It struck in the race, and caused him to lose ground and come into danger of losing sixth to Rossi. “I was not really able to steer the bike. After 10 laps I was struggling a lot. I have never had such a big problem with the arm pump,” he said. » Riders always complain about tyres, but Rossi had an unusual twist. “The problem is that the Bridgestone are too perfect,” he said. “If you are OK, maybe you can stay with the same rhythm from the beginning to the end of the race. This is not good for the show.” ROSSI GANG STAYS TOGETHER ‘It’s like a marriage’ says returning Yamaha star Valentino Rossi will take Jerry Burgess and his full MotoGP pit crew back to Yamaha with him, when he returns as Jorge Lorenzo’s team-mate next year. Although this was expected, it was far from certain, until Yamaha signed two-year contracts with Burgess and his five mechanics at Motegi the previous weekend. Talking to Italian media, Rossi described his interdependence with Burgess and the crew as like that of a marriage of 25 years; while Burgess said that Yamaha race chief Lin Jarvis had told him: “You guys will be plug and play.” Burgess previously crewed Wayne Gardner to one world title and Mick Doohan to five. Rossi joined him when he came to the 500 class in 2000 with Honda, and mainly the same crew has been together ever since. The rider made it a precondition that they should accompany him when he switched from Honda to Yamaha in 2004. They also moved with him for two fruitless and reputation-bashing years at Ducati. Burgess’s right-hand man is fellow Australian Alex Briggs. Kiwi Brent Stephens, Englishman Gary Coleman, Belgian Bernard Ansiau and Italian Matteo Flamigni make up the rest of the much- decorated gang. 13 GPWEEK.com // 13 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: