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GP Week : Issue 196
Ducati is to join Honda and Yamaha in the new-next-year “Open” category, with at least one rider using this year’s factory Desmosedici GP13. Colombian Yonny Hernandez, adopted by the Pramac “B-team” to replace injury- stricken Ben Spies, will stay with the squad and stick with the bike. Like Honda’s new RCV1000R and the leased Yamaha M1 – currently a year-old satellite bike, category rules require that the bike uses the control Magneti Marelli electronic software as well as the universal hardware. But the machines have the advantage of 20-percent more fuel (24 vs 20 litres) and 12 engines against five. A further potential advantage is access to softer tyres as supplied this year to CRT teams, although at season’s end Bridgestone were still undecided as to whether the more powerful Open bikes would require them. “We will be analysing data from the tests,” said a spokesman. The new bikes made a fair if unspectacular start at post-season tests at Valencia. Yamaha’s sole customer, the NGM For ward team, were to have been supplied only engines (in factory spec), to be fitted in British FTR chassis, but with these not ready for tests, new rider Aleix Espargaro rode a Monster Yamaha team satellite bike to a worthy 10th overall, ahead of the Ducatis: but not using control electronics. Honda had two bikes for three riders – Nicky Hayden and Aspar team-mate Hiro Aoyama, plus battered ex-Moto2 class rookie Scott Redding. 2006 World Champion Hayden was the best, less than half-a second but four places off Espargaro’s time. In his second MotoGP season, Hernandez managed a top ten finish in Malaysia after moving from his Aprilia CRT machine to the Ducati, but managed to rack up a class-leading total of 20 crashes during the season. at BriEFly » Valentino Rossi affirmed his second motorsporting passion when he finished second in the end-of-season showboating Rally of Monza, his Ford Escort sandwiched between two Citroens. The event was won by Dani Sordo, a WRC winner, with Rinaldo “Dindo” Capello third. » Australian racer Anthony West has lost his appeal after falling foul of drugs rules, and all his results since the French GP of last year have been wiped from the record in a retrospective ban by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. West blamed an energy drink which, unknown to him, contained the banned substance methylhexanamine, also used as a nasal decongestant. » Unenviable statistics: Dorna released consolidated crash figures for the season, with the bruised-up league table headed by Indonesian Moto2 rider Rafid Topan Sucipto, who racked an impressive total of 26 falls. Next is MotoGP rider Yonny Hernandez with 20, while nobody the clearly comparatively safe Moto3 class even broke 20, with Spaniard Eric Granado on 19. Impressively, second place in the premier class goes to Marc Marquez, with 15 for the year, one more than Cal Crutchlow. Jorge Lorenzo recorded only three crashes, Rossi four and Pedrosa six. DUCATI JOINS HONDA, YAMAHA, IN NEW 'OPEN' CLASS Year-old 'Desmo' for Hernandez MOTOGP >>> nEWs 13 GPWEEK.com // 13 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: