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GP Week : Issue 175
at BRIEFLY » Mahindra, the first and only Indian team in motorcycle GP racing, has signed up two top Moto3 riders, as they try to forget the dismal results of their first season in the new class. Stuck with the slow and unreliable Oral engine, they scored points only once all season, and next year move from Italy to Switzerland with an all-new engine and chassis built by Suter Racing Technologies. At Valencia came a surprise announcement of their new riders: experienced 26-year-old Efren Vazquez from Spain and impressive teenage Portuguese rookie Miguel Oliveira. Oliveira was eighth overall this year, and Vazquez tenth. » Bridgestone is to introduce a special softer tyre for CRT machines next year, in the hope that regulations will be changed to allow the production machines a different two-compound allocation from the stiffer and more powerful prototypes. All year the CRT riders have invariably chosen the softest tyre available, and have pressed for even softer compounds, said a company spokesman. The new tyre would be available for the official two-day test on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. » Accusations levelled at Marquez's CatalunyaCaixa team, accusing them of sharp practice tampering with the control ECU, fizzled out at Valencia, when the Moto2 champion's machine was examined and tested yet again on arrival at the circuit, and nothing was found to be wrong. This was as Race Director Mike Webb had expected. "We test regularly as a matter of course, but we had to respond to the reports. Our people found nothing, nor did HRC or Geo Technology staff," he said.A rule change cancelling a previous allowance for three days of testing in November/December for MotoGP class rookies means that Honda's planned outing to Sepang with Marquez is also in jeopardy . .. unless Honda appoint the Malaysian circuit as their official test track. MOTOGP >>> NEWS NO TEARS AS STONER ERA ENDS WITH A ROSTRUM Not even a standing ovation at his final press conference – as one of the top three finishers in the race – could raise more than a broad smile from Casey Stoner, as he prepared to walk away from motorcycle racing at the age of only 27. "It feels a bit surreal at the moment," he said, after taking his time on the slow-down lap to wave to the crowd. "Maybe it will sink in over the next few days, but I'm looking for ward to doing nothing. "It's strange not to be thinking about developments to next year's bike - not to be involved in plans or preparations. "I'm not a very emotional person, but I'm very happy with the result." He hadn't been confident of closing his account with a rostrum, having been satisfied with his record sixth- in-a-row win at home in Australia. "When the weather was bad here, I thought we'd run out of luck, after using it all at Phillip Island," he said. "I owe a lot of people so much for my career, and I want to say a big thank you to all of them." He was guarded on future racing plans. He has been linked with a move to V8 Supercar racing in Australia, and tested the Vodaphone-backed Triple Eight Commodore for the first time at the end of last year. "We've discussed things lightly," he said at Valencia, "but there's no decision. I just want a little time off." At the end of the Valencia race, his team hung out his pit board with the legend: "Going Fishing". Other riders doubtless feel a sense of relief at the departure of such a formidable competitor. "You see riders come and go," said former team-mate Nicky Hayden. "This time, a fast one is going." 10 GPWEEK.com // 10 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: