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GP Week : Issue 190
at BrIEFly » Nothing’s easy for MotoGP manufacturers. Ducati’s 2014 prototype is running late, and Honda’s production RCV has run way over budget. Ducati team chief Bernard Gobmeier admitted the next Desmosedici – a redesign of the complete bike – would not be ready for Valencia tests, starting two days after the final race there in November. “We will have a step in between ... we are still planning how we are going to fit it together” (see full interview elsewhere in GPWeek). HRC boss Shuhei Nakamoto lamented to Britain’s motorcycle news that the RCV1000R, with a target price of a million euros, had significantly over-run this budget at the development stage. But customers are safe, he said: “Honda will pay the price”. » Ben Spies is out for the rest of the season, after his Indianapolis crash did for his other shoulder just after the right one had at last recovered – but his ride for 2014 is safe, according to his team boss Francesco Guidotti. Rumours that a disillusioned Ducati were going to let him go had gathered strength after he confirmed on social media that his 2013 season was over, rather than using the team’s media outlets. For the next race, his place on the Ignite B-team bike goes to Colombian Yonny Hernandez, seconded from the PBM team. » Czech family-team racer Karel Abraham will also be out for the rest of the year, with his own shoulder injury, also sustained at Indy. He had been soldiering on, but has now pulled out for recuperation, probably including surgery. Abraham switched from last year’s Ducati to an ART Aprilia, but an injury-plagued season has now ended early. Who can replace him? As in the case of Pirro, one prime and popular candidate would be John Hopkins, seeking a racing return after his own long injury break. The jigsaw for next year’s MotoGP grid lacks only minor pieces, after Crutchlow's Ducati move opened the way for the other factory, satellite and production-racer riders to slot into place. The latest confirmation, announced at the British GP, was for Moto2 title leader scott Redding, who will join the Gresini GO&FuN team on a production RCV1000R Honda alongside current teamster Alvaro Bautista. The contract is for two years, with the english rider earmarked for a factory-level Honda in 2015. “I ’m looking forward to the challenge, against the best riders in the world, but my focus now is winning the Moto2 title,” said Redding, who leads rival Pol espargaro by 38 points in the junior class, hoping to become the first British GP World Champion since Barry sheene in 1977. He joins Crutchlow and Bradley smith in that quest. With Pol espargaro already confirmed to join smith in the Monster Yamaha team, this leaves only Nicky Hayden among the top riders yet to find a place. The options are closing for the 2006 World Champion. One possibility is a move to the NGM Forward team, which will campaign the lease Yamaha M1 next year. That bike will start with a factory chassis, but the team plans to develop its own chassis with British manufacturer FTR, and Hayden’s experience, dedication and testing skills would prove valuable. However, Hayden is up against old rival and present team incumbent Colin edwards, turning 40 next year, who is eager to stay with the team. His development skills are also well known. The other significant question involves the older espargaro brother Aleix, who continued to underline his position as top CRT rider at silverstone, finishing tenth in spite of a freshly broken finger. Aleix is also on the NGM Forward shopping list, and is keen to make the move, even though it means having to buy his way out of the final year of his contract with his current Aspar Power electronics squad. Footnote: Colombian racer Yonny Hernandez, co-opted into the Ignite Pramac team to take over from Pirro on Ben spies’s vacant Ducati, placed 16th, near the front of a gaggle of CRT times. This appointment followed news that the American’s Indianapolis shoulder injury will put him out for the rest of the season. 2014 HONDA, YAMAHA FASTEST Misano Tests: New control electronics no barrier MOTOGP >>> nEWs 16 GPWEEK.com // 16 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: