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GP Week : Issue 199
at BriEFly » Ducati is taking advantage of its Open status testing freedoms. Ducati Corse joined its WSBK squad in a two-day test at Jerez last week, though their track time was interrupted by damp weather. Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow worked on electronics and also shot a promotional video for the team. Jerez will host Europe’s first 2014 MotoGP round on May 2-4 . » Sandro Cortese is recovering well from his Qatar injuries. The German broke a bone in his left foot in a crash on the final lap of Qualifying. Cortese rode through the pain barrier to eighth place, which became seventh after Takaaki Nakagami was DSQed. » Valentino Rossi has tipped defending champion Marc Marquez to retain his title this year. Despite his return to the MotoGP podium, when quizzed on the subject, Valentino replied, with a smile, "I think Marquez will be the World Champion again, and I’ll try to give him a little luck." At the same time, asked to nominate his favourite bike of all time, he responded: "I have ridden so many beautiful bikes – Aprilia, Honda and Ducati. But my favorite bike is definitely the Yamaha M1!" » A generation after their father made history at Phillip Island, Remy and Luca Gardner have attracted backing from the Australian circuit for their Spanish campaigns. Wayne Gardner’s older son Remy, 16, will race a KTM in the Spanish Moto3 Championship and Luca, 14, is in the Spanish Copa de España de Velocidad on a Moriwaki MD250. Gardner Sr won the Australian 500cc GPs at the track in 1989 and 1990. APriliA bACk A YEAr EArlY? MOTOGP >>> nEWs Aprilia’s a return to MotoGP could be on the grid as soon as next year. Albesiano Romano, Aprilia’s Sporting Managing Director, has told the motogp.com website that the company is well down the road to returning to the grid full-time for the 2016 season, but expects to race next season as a Wildcard entry. “To be able to compete at a high level in 2016, which is our goal, we are developing a completely new project”, he said. “So, I would not rule out a few appearances in the second half of the 2015 season.” Aprilia last competed in the premier category in 2004, with Shane Byrne and Jeremy McWilliams rode the three - cylinder bike known as the RS Cube. In 2012, it returned as a supplier to Claiming Rule Team, using a modified version of its WSBK-winning RSV4 Superbike. Since that time, the company has undergone significant changes, including in its ownership. “T hings have changed substantially because previously this was an independent company and now its part of a multinational, the Piaggio Group,” said Romano. “Today we have the industrial and financial stability to participate in a sport as important and challenging as MotoGP. Also, the MotoGP World Championship has changed a lot in recent years and our interest in returning is due to MotoGP indisputably being the most prestigious showcase for us to be in.” Aprilia RSV4 riders Sylvain Guintoli (pictured ) and Marco Melandri currently run first and third in the 2014 World Superbike Championship after the opening round – and Aprilia leads the manufacturers’ table. 14 GPWEEK.com // 14 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: