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GP Week : Issue 191
at BrIEFly » Valentino Rossi is taking first steps into team ownership, after linking with Sky Italy to back a new high-profile Moto3 team next season. , with strong charger Romano Fenati on a KTM. Rossi’s exact role remains to be seen, but his VR46 brand will be prominent, alongside the TV network, which recently acquired the rights to MotoGP from 2014. » Repsol Honda stars Marquez and Pedrosa had different reactions when taxed with reported comments from HRC boss Shuhei Nakamoto that they needed to brush up their technique on the start and opening laps, in the wake of Lorenzo’s runaway wins at Silverstone and Misano. Pedrosa sharply pointed out that a large proportion of his 24 wins had come in just such jack-rabbit style; Marquez promised to work on it, in two phases – first the start, then the first two laps. Which just leaves the braking collisions for him to polish up a bit. » Up-and-down MotoGP rookie and Ducati B-team rider Andrea Iannone got a nasty surprise when he returned home to Italy from the Aragon race, according to a report on Italian website GPOne. Thieves had ransacked his house in Vasto, more than 300 km down from Misano on the south coast. Among his lost prize possessions, eight of the special pole-qualifier watches presented at each race by timekeepers Tissot. He won three in 125s, and five in Moto2. Casey stoner’s third test for Honda at Motegi was again hit by bad weather ... but the double World Champion was able to get in a full day after losing the first, exercising himself on this year’s factory RC213V as well as the production-racer prototype made for customers next year. It will get him in trim for his appearance at his home GP at Phillip Island, but sadly for the fans after persistent rumours of a wildcard ride, it will be only for a parade lap, along with fellow Oz title winners Mick Doohan and Wayne Gardner. Stoner’s exact role with HRC is supposedly only as an extra tester, and from his side a matter of enjoyment; but Rossi among others has talked of a future come -back. Three two -day tests have been dogged by bad weather; but day two saw him finally put his leg over the production-racer prototype for the first time. Team information reported “high average speeds worthy of the RC213V” before bad weather called an early halt at only a quarter to four. Stoner was frustrated at the weather, and having to cram a two -day workload into one abbreviated day. “ We tried to do everything, but it was a little difficult,” he said. “ We started with the current RCV ... we had two variations of chassis to try, and some big modifications and in my opinion improvements. “We also tried the production bike, which was more impressive than I’d predicted.” It felt, he said, similar to the RCV, but “with a little less power and a different feeling in engine braking.” With some small modifications, he said “I believe this bike will be competitive.” Honda’s machine, available at 1.2 -million Euros, has found only two customers so far: the Gresini team for Scott Redding and Karel Abraham for himself, though bidding is not yet over, and the Aspar team is considering switching from their current Aprilia. HRC chief Shuhei Nakamoto recently revealed that the project had run way over budget, but that “Honda will bear the cost”. STONER TESTS AGAIN Ready for Phillip Island surprise MOTOGP >>> nEWs 15 GPWEEK.com // 15 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: