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GP Week : Issue 186
at BrIEFly » Moto2 points leader Scott Redding is considering an offer to join the Italian Gresini Honda MotoGP team next season. This first year would be on one of the new production- racer RCV Hondas, but with the lure of a full factory bike the following season. » Nicky Hayden was glad to report positive responses from “a different anti-wheelie solution” at Ducati’s three days of testing at Misano, in the run up to the Sachsenring and then Laguna Seca a week later. Both have short laps with low gearing. “I’m happy about that for the next two tracks, which are maybe the worst two circuits for wheelies on the whole calendar,” he said. » Ducatisti are awaiting the result of a top-level management reshuffle at owners Audi, where R&D chief Wolfgang Durheimer has been replaced from within by Ulrich Hackenberg. Durheimer had a motorcycle background with BMW before joining Audi; Hackenberg has been more associated with cars including Bentley and several Audi models, but his doctoral thesis was on the ““Stability Behaviour of the Rider- Motorcycle-Road System”. Could be the right man to oversee the introduction of some of that Stability Behaviour to the wayward Desmosedici. After a blazing start to his third MotoGP season has put him ahead of Rossi as second-best Yamaha rider in the championship, english rider Cal Crutchlow’s grand prix future is a hot potato, which could be out of the oven as soon as next week. The 27-year- old former World Supersport Champion is in talks with Ducati as well as Yamaha. He had also been top of the shopping list for Suzuki, until the company decided to delay its racing return until the year after next. The rider is playing his cards close to his chest, beyond confirming once again that he feels he should have a full factory ride, as well as the financial rewards to go with it. These simply may not be available at Yamaha, where next year’s factory bikes are already allocated to Lorenzo and Rossi, and one of two satellite bikes for Bradley Smith. Strong rumours suggest that the factory had already signed up Pol Espargaro, betting on young talent. Moving to Ducati would fulfil Crutchlow’s requirements, but also entail a considerable risk, with no end in sight to the Desmosedici’s continuing poor results. At the same time, it would re -unite him with his 2012 team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, when the pair made a strongly competitive partnership. It would leave Nicky Hayden out in the cold, possibly moving to the company’s Superbike squad. Crucial meetings between Crutchlow and Ducati are scheduled to take place at the Sachsenring next weekend, with the company targeting a final decision. CRUTCHLOW THE SILLy SEASON KEy Decision possible by this weekend SPIES: THE NIGHTMARE CONTINUES Former MotoGP rider Alex de Angelis has been drafted in to take Ben spies’s place at the us GP in two weeks, after the luckless American racer ’s hopes for a return at Laguna seca were put back on hold. Spies’s problems have been legion, starting in his second year as Lorenzo’s factory team- mate at Yamaha last season. As well as chassis and suspension breakages and a mid-race engine blow-up, he suffered serious shoulder injuries in a late-season crash in Malaysia. By then he had already announced his unexpected decision to leave the Yamaha team, and possibly MotoGP. That was changed when he was recruited to race for Ducati’s new factory “B -team”, run by Pramac racing; and Spies underwent reconstructive surgery over the winter. Fears of lengthy rehabilitation were put to one side as he attended tests and took part in the first two rounds, but at the second he suffered serious muscle cramps and pain as a consequence of residual weakness, and although he attempted a comeback at round five in Italy, he pulled out after struggling on the first practice day. That was five weeks ago: continued therapy since then has not been enough to allow him to return at full strength at Laguna, with the team announcing his probable return for the Indianapolis GP on August 18, after the short summer break. Ducati test rider Michele Pirro was able to step in to fill the breach, as well as continuing to test the experimental “lab bike” in race conditions; but for the US GP the team has drafted in the experienced San Marino rider Alex de Angelis, borrowed from his regular NGM Mobile Moto2 team, because Laguna Seca is a MotoGP-only GP. MOTOGP >>> nEWs 15 GPWEEK.com // 15 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: