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GP Week : Issue 177a
at BRIEFLY » The Hispanification of the hitherto all-Italian World Superbike Championship has begun, barely a month after announcement of the Dorna takeover of the production- based series, with reshuffle that includes the appointment of Spanish ex-racer Gregorio Lavilla to the newly- formed Race Direction committee, modelled on MotoGP practice. Former SBK press officer Julian Thomas has followed director Paolo Ciabatti back to Ducati, with Dorna expected to relocate the communications centre to Spain. Other management functions will remain in Italy for the present. » Colin Edwards, the oldest rider in MotoGP, is showing no intention of retiring, with plans to go on racing into 2014, when new technical regulations replace the unloved CRT bikes with factory production racers. The double World Superbike champion had a dire season on a Suter-BMW CRT bike, but his Forward Racing team will switch to an FTR Kawasaki next year. Writing on his blog, Edwards revealed he has been talking to Yamaha about their still nebulous plan to provide M1 MotoGP engines for lease for the year after next, to slot into the British chassis. Edwards will turn 40 in 2014. » Casey Stoner’s double title-winning crew chief Cristian Gabarrini has been kicked upstairs in the factory Honda team after the departure of the rider that he followed to the Japanese squad from Ducati. He is the first non-Japanese to hold the post of Technical Supervisor, within the hierarchy privy to HRC’s innermost secrets. He will oversee the crew chief that Marquez has brought with him, Santi Hernandez. MOTOGP >>> NEWS MARQUEZ GETS STAR TREATMENT FROM HONDA Special Sepang test for him alone Moto2 World Champion Marc Marquez was the revelation of the post-season Valencia test, despite getting very limited track time. In only 28 laps the 19-year-old Spaniard clocked a time that would have been the third-fastest in Sunday’s season finale. Monster YamahaTech 3’s Cal Crutchlow tweeted, “@marcmarquez93 please slow down next year ...! We can all pay a little or this to happen ..., great job ..., again.” And HRC boss Shuhei Nakamoto said, “I'm thinking he has something I maybe haven't seen in a rider before. Really thrilling to see.” Marquez’s lap time of 1:33.403 on the 27th of his 28 laps was also the seventh fastest of the test and just over a second slower than the benchmark set by Pedrosa. Rain and cold weather kept Marquez in the garage for the first day and most of the second. It was 3:30 p.m. before he finally got on the RC213V for the first time, completing seven laps. After some adjustments, he finished the day with a 21-lap run: “I feel so happy,” Marquez said. “We waited the whole day for the track to dry so that we could finally try the bike, but it took such a long time. In the end I began to get impatient and the track was drying up so we decided to go out.” “In the beginning it was quite difficult but very nice to feel the power of the bike. I had a lot of wheelie on the straights, but I gradually gained confidence on each exit and got faster and faster on every run. I tried to adapt my riding style from Moto2 because there was quite a big difference. There are many things to improve and try. The front tyre was also very different to what I'm used to, but the main thing is that we have had good start and I have a very good feeling with the team.” Márquez will be back on track at the Sepang Circuit in Malaysia on Nov. 26, 27 and 28, though Pedrosa won’t join him. Footnote: Ducati riders were also to test in the dying days of November, with new riders Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone joining Nicky Hayden at Jerez. They will evaluate alternative stiffness ratios in preparation for major changes for the 2013 bike they will test at Sepang at the end of January. 12 GPWEEK.com // 12 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: