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GP Week : Issue 195
MOTOGP >>> nEWs at BrIEFly » Nobody fell foul of MotoGP’s five-engine limit to suffer a pit-lane start – but it was pretty close in a number of cases. Nicky Hayden was near to the bone after his newest engine blew up on its first outing in Sepang, and Jorge Lorenzo had to fall back on an old engine for the crucial race, after his newest and best engine failed in qualifying. » A banner at Valencia showed the beleaguered former GP racer Sean Emmett has not been forgotten. The British 500-class privateer has been stuck in Dubai since February, after his wife fell to her death from their hotel balcony on their honeymoon. Although Emmett has neither been charged nor detained as a suspect, his passport has been confiscated and he remains marooned. The Valencia grandstands carried a prominent banner reading “FREE SEAN EMMETT”. » More details have emerged on the reason for the Marquez team debacle in Australia, where the rider was disqualified after missing the prescribed pit stop window. Rather than a misinterpretation of the rules, as at first expected, it was an error in pit signalling, with the crucial word “IN” omitted at the end of the countdown. Whether the signaller and or the rider had been improperly briefed or whether he just got it wrong was not clear. “It was a Honda mistake, not just one person,” said team marketing director Livio Suppo. Ducati’s latest would-be rescuer Gigi Dall’Igna (right), snatched from Italian rivals Aprilia to head the beleaguered Bologna marque’s fight back to the front, will concentrate on organisation first, before tackling a potential complete redesign of the motorcycle. Speaking the day after the Valencia GP after joining Ducati during the previous week, he said: “It’s a big challenge, and it is like a new life. My previous life has been with a different brand.” His obser vations so far had led him to put restructuring the racing effort top of his to- do list. “ T here are two completely different areas – at the race -track, and in Bologna. My first job will be to join these two areas, so that information can flow between them. One possible solution will be to give the track staff important jobs also at Bologna.” It was too soon for him to comment on future machine developments. For the moment a revised bike was being prepared for next year’s pre -season tests, and this would continue as planned. Asked what he thought were the current bike’s weak points, he said: “I am a technician. I need to go in deep before I can answer that. It seems the chassis is the main problem, but you have to work in all areas.” He was cagey also on the likelihood of a start-again redesign, but said that both evolution and revolution were on the menu. “ We will work to improve this bike, and perhaps a redesign.” But he saw no reason to abandon the company’s unique trade-mark desmodromic valve gear. “It is not a priority for me – it is a really good system.” On the same day, new Ducati rider Cal Crutchlow had taken his first runs on the bike. After three days of testing he lay 12th overall, two -tenths slower than incumbent rider Dovizioso but more than 1.5 seconds off the fastest time. As importantly, he was almost eight-tenths slower than his best time on his old Yamaha, set in qualifying. “T his test was never about me setting a lap time,” he said, after spending the first day mainly adjusting the riding position and controls to suit him. In any case, a different bike would be wheeled out for next season. “It would have been difficult to go any faster on this one,” he told press at the tests. FIRST THE METHOD, THEN THE BIKE Ducati’s new man Dall ’Igna speaks, new rider Crutchlow tests 16 GPWEEK.com // 16 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: