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GP Week : Issue 187
MOTOGP >>> nEWs at BrIEFly » Technical regs for next year were formally confirmed at the GP Commission meeting at the Sachsenring, it was announced last week. As reported, there will be two categories, both of which much use electronic hardware supplied by Dorna. Bikes of “Factory” status (maximum four per manufacturer) will get five engines (nine for new entrants) and 20 litres of fuel in exchange for using their own software. Other teams using production-racers or even hangover CRT bikes get 24 litres and 12 engines, but must use the software as supplied. » Yamaha has agreed to provide a “short” chassis as well as leased M1 engines to the NGM Mobile Forward team next year – relieving the only team so far to take up the Yamaha option of having to design and build a chassis in a dwindling amount of time. The package includes swing-arm and linkage, but no front or rear suspension or other running gear. » Bold racers, old racers ... and Kevin Schwantz, back on the rostrum at 49. The 1993 World Champion made an unexpected racing comeback to take part in the prestigious and gruelling Suzuka 8-Hour race on the weekend. He rode a non-factory Suzuki in Team Kagayama, with Yukio Kagayama and former GP and SBK rider Nori Haga, and the veteran squad finished a strong third. A series of top-level rapid returns from injury has thrown new focus on medical rules at MotoGP, and triggered plans to introduce so-called “base-line testing” as an additional measure to tighten up tests that riders must pass. The exploits of Jorge Lorenzo at Assen, racing to fifth barely 36 hours off the operating table, engendered sincere admiration for his gung-ho racing spirit, but also caused worried frowns that the clearly enfeebled rider might lose control, not only exacerbating his own injury but also imperilling other riders. Two weeks later at the Sachsenring he did crash, requiring further surgery. At that race, Dani Pedrosa also crashed and broke his collarbone, but he was ruled unfit to race only on race morning when low blood pressure attributed to shock meant he was still suffering dizzy spells. Dorna, which recently added an on-track trauma response team to the existing combination of track doctor and Clinica Mobile staff, responded to the concern by calling an unprecedented medical press conference in Germany, where the rapid- response doctors gave an exhaustive run-down of Pedrosa’s injuries. Earlier, Dorna chief Carmelo Ezpeleta had told GPWeek that he would be discussing the introduction of base-line testing with the FIM within the week. “It is one of the things for our meeting at Laguna Seca,” he confirmed. Base-line tests compare an athlete’s mental fitness after an incident or an anaesthetic with a yardstick set in the season. Tests including balance assessment, learning and memory skills, concentration and problem-solving speed are conducted to establish each individual’s level. After an incident, the tests are on the cardsrepeated, and results compared. Race director Mike Webb said: “We discussed this at the Austin GP and the conclusion was: yes, it is possible, but it would take some implementing. For my mind it is worth doing,” said Race Director Mike Webb. Dorna’s Ezpeleta said: “This is something we will study together, and maybe to try to start that. To do something at the beginning of the year, it makes sense.” Ezpeleta stressed that ultimate control over passing a rider fit or other wise was beyond Dorna’s and the FIM’s control. “We always want to improve. What we cannot avoid is that the final medical decision is by the local medical people.” MEDICAL MARVELS TRIGGER NEW RULE CHAT Base-line testing on the cards 17 GPWEEK.com // 17 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: