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GP Week : Issue 191
Valentino Rossi’s renowned crew chief Jerry Burgess (left, above) has called for MotoGP to follow the junior classes in introducing a minimum weight limit for bike and rider, to iron out physical inequalities that are prejudicing his rider. The need is more acute with the looming cut of almost five percent in fuel allowance in 2014, from the current 21 litres to 20 for factory machines. Moto3 inherited its combined weight limit from the defunct 125 class, currently set at 148 kg. Moto2 introduced the system this season, after continuing complaints from current title leader Scott Redding, whose towering size meant he used his tyres faster than smaller rivals. The middle class combination is 215 kg. “If it is right for those classes, why not MotoGP,” he said, pointing out that a diminutive rider like Pedrosa and to a lesser extent Marquez have a natural advantage. “It’s obvious, that if you have a certain amount of mass it takes a certain amount of energy to accelerate it.” Even in MotoGP, where riders only now and then use full throttle for any length of time, smaller and lighter riders had an advantage, he said. The comparison between Rossi and Pedrosa is telling: the diminutive Spaniard weighs 51 kg and stands 160 cm tall; Rossi weighs 16 kg more and is 22 cm taller. By comparison, Marquez is 59 kg and 168 cm; Lorenzo 65 kg and 172 cm. Rossi has complained for a couple of races now, especially at Misano, that he uses more fuel than Lorenzo, requiring power to be cut back to make the 21 litres last the distance. “It is because I am more long (tall) and more heavy, so for aerodynamics and weight it is a cost to me,” he said. Rossi ran out of fuel on the slow-down lap at Misano, while satellite Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow said: “If he had 20 litres this year rather than 21, I wouldn’t have finished at least two races.” Studying Lorenzo’s data, Crutchlow observed that the Spaniard is much smoother at rolling on and off the throttle. “I’m trying to do that all the time, but it’s not so easy.” Team-mate Bradley Smith reported no consumption problems, suggesting his avoidance of triggering traction control might be one reason. “I try to ride under the electronics, which maybe spoils the lap time but definitely uses less fuel,” he said. Quirky but popular, the us Grand Prix at California’s Laguna seca circuit has been dropped from next year’s provisional calendar, in favour of two rounds in Latin America, adding a race for an unprecedented series total of 19 rounds. However, one of the new South American rounds, the return to Brazil, remains in doubt, subject to circuit preparation. The loss of Laguna was on the cards ever since the addition of Austin, Texas to the calendar, and the renewal of the Indianapolis contract, confirmed during the race weekend at the Brickyard circuit. The Californian venue had its own contract for next year, but with rumours of financial issues with Dorna, the third race (already MotoGP-class only) was in clear jeopardy. In the same week as the calendar was announced, further news came from Indy, of a major upgrade to the infield circuit, which riders criticised for its bumps, mix of different surfaces and low grip. The short, twisty and highly technical circuit inland from Monterey has hosted 15 GPs since 1988: after a decade break became a fixture on the calendar from 2005. Laguna’s greatest claim to fame is it’s the Corkscrew, which has given MotoGP some classic moments, especially the Rossi/ Stoner overtake in 2008 and the reverse replay by Marquez/Rossi this year ... not to mention crucial crash victims including Mick Doohan and Kevin Schwantz, and last year Ben Spies when his Yamaha’s suspension collapsed halfway through. A regretful statement from Laguna organisers SCRAMP (the local motorsports club) said: “At this time, the US is only able to support two MotoGP events. The support provided by the states of Texas and Indiana [to Austin and Indy] make it difficult for us, as a not-for-profit [organisation], to currently compete;” adding: “Our pledge is to work diligently to return the MotoGP World Championship to Monterey in the very near future.” Riders will welcome the news from Indy that “the entire infield section of the circuit will be repaved, creating a more uniform, smooth racing surface”; while changed layout of some corners, designed in conjunction with Dorna and the FIM, has added 40 metres in length. The track statement describes “exciting new turn configurations and braking zones, creating more passing opportunities.” 2014 CALENdAR ANNOUNCEd: 19 RACES, U.S. OUT MOTOGP >>> nEWs "MOTOGP NEEdS BIKE-ANd-RIdER WEIGHT LIMIT" 2014 MotoGP Race Calendar March 23: Qatar, Losail International Circuit April 13: Americas, Circuit of the Americas April 27: Argentina, May 4: *spain, Circuito de Jerez May 18: France, Le Mans June 1: Italy, Mugello June 15: Catalunya, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya June 28: Netherlands, TT Assen (saturday race) July 13: Germany, sachsenring August 10: Indianapolis GP, Indianapolis August 17: Czech Republic, Automotodrom Brno August 31: Great Britain, silverstone september 14: san Marino, Misano september 21: Aragón, MotorLand Aragón september 28: *Brazil, Brasilia October 12: Malaysia, sepang International Circuit October 19: Japan, Twin Ring Motegi October 26: Australia, Phillip Island November 9: Valencia, Ricardo Tormo-Valencia *To be confirmed 17 GPWEEK.com // 17 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: