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Issue No 119   MONDAY JUNE 6, 2011



F1’s
ConsCienCe
Crisis


MOTOGP                               WRC
Stoner makes                         Meet the next
it look easy                         World Champion
Sometimes someone just clears off and walks away ...

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                                     ISSUE 119                                            JUNE 6, 2011




EDITOR: ADAM HAY-NICHOLLS
adam@hay-nicholls.com

Assistant Editors
Naoise Holohan, Kate Walker

MotoGP Editor: Michael Scott
michael@gpweek.com

Rally Editor: Martin Holmes
martin@gpweek.com

Production Artist (Australia):
Cedric Dufour,
Asstistant: Callum Branagan

Photography
Sutton Motorsport Images
www.sutton-images.com
Keith Sutton keith@gpweek.com

Publisher
Chris Lambden
publisher@gpweek.com

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Webber heads
criticism of FiA
Bahrain decision
MARK Webber has again showed                and conscience. I hope F1 is able to
himself to be the F1 presence with          return to Bahrain eventually but now
a social conscience by publically           isn’t the right time.
placing himself at odds with the FIA’s         “As a competitor I do not feel
decision to reinstate the Bahrain           at all comfortable going there to
Grand Prix.                                 compete in an event when, despite
   On Friday, via his website, Webber       reassurances to the contrary, it seems
was unequivocal:                            inevitable that it will cause more
   “My opinion is unchanged since           tension for the people of that country.
I was first asked about this in late        I don’t understand why my sport
February. Even though a decision has        wishes to place itself in a position to
been made, I’ll be highly surprised if      be a catalyst for that.”
the Bahrain Grand Prix goes ahead              While the F1 teams have indicated
this year.                                  that they will discuss the matter this
   “In my personal opinion, the sport       week (logistics alone of a rescheduled
should have taken a much firmer             December Indian GP season finish
stance earlier this year rather than        have most teams ‘against’, never mind
constantly delaying its decision in         the politics), no other team manager
hope of being able to re-schedule           or driver has to date expressed a
it in 2011. It would have sent a very       clear public opinion.
clear message about F1’s position on
something as fundamental as human
rights and how it deals with moral
issues.
   “It’s obvious that the parties
involved have struggled to reach a
decision but sadly I feel that they still
haven’t made the right one. Like it
or not, F1 and sport in general isn’t
above having a social responsibility





                                                                                                               >> F1 NEWS


                                                                                                      neWs
                                                                                                      CoMMenT




                                                                                                     opinion
                                                                                                                      CHRIS
                                                                                                                      LAMBDEN
                                                                                                                      Publisher



Bahrain GP set for october 30
                                                                                                      Motorsport has, every now and
                                                                                                      then, put itself at odds with
                                                                                                      community expectations. The FIA
                                                                                                      decision to re-instate the Bahrain
Indian GP to become season finale on December 11                                                      Grand Prix is one of them.
                                                                                                         That the world’s premier
The FIA’s World Motor Sport Council has            announcement by the King of Bahrain                motorsport show should even
unanimously agreed to put the Bahrain              has established a political dialogue and           consider returning to the strife-torn
Grand Prix back on the Formula One                 reconciliation process.                            kingdom this year, on the basis of a
calendar for 2011, with the race now due             “After considering all the factors and taking    well-staged, diplomatic ‘fact-finding’
to be held on October 30. The inaugural            into consideration all stakeholders’ concerns,     mission last week, is wrong, and
Indian Grand Prix was originally scheduled         the WMSC unanimously agreed to reinstate           good on Mark Webber for having
to take place on that date, but will               the Bahrain Grand Prix in the 2011 FIA             the balls to stand up and say so.
now become the season finale in mid-               Formula One World Championship.”                      It is to be hoped that the teams
December, extending the Formula One                  However, the FIA did have the support            show the same character and take
season by a fortnight.                             of the main opposition group in Bahrain to         their own decision not to attend
  The FIA’s 26-man council made its                get the race back on the calendar and said it      when they meet this week – even
decision based on a ‘fact-finding mission’         hoped to “unite people” in the country by its      though the McLaren team finds
conducted by Vice President, Carlos Gracia         decision.                                          itself in a huge bind, being part-
who visited the country on Tuesday to assess         “This decision reflects the spirit of            owned by Bahraini interests.
the situation and meet with numerous               reconciliation in Bahrain, which is evident           If for no other reason than the
governmental and non-governmental                  from the strong support the race receives          selfish one – ie the potential risks
organisations. The federation’s controversial      from the Government and all major parties          to team personnel, not to mention
decision was made in the face of severe            in Bahrain, including the largest opposition       media and any fans who might risk
opposition from national and international         group, all of whom endorse the Formula One         attending – the teams need to insist
groups who want human rights violations in         Grand Prix and motor sport in the country,”        the FIA thinks again, or unilaterally
the country to be resolved before Formula          continued the statement.                           boycott the event. A colateral issue
One returns.                                         “The WMSC feels that reinstating the Grand       is the postponement of the debut
  “Following a fact-finding mission                Prix is a means of helping to unite people as      Indian GP to December – way
undertaken at the request of FIA President         the country looks to move forward, and also        beyond the time when F1 team
Jean Todt, FIA Vice President Carlos Gracia        recognises the commitment made by the              staff should be enjoying a year-end
visited Bahrain on 31 May 2011 to assess           Formula One teams, their employees and             break. The question of fans who
the situation in the country,” read an FIA         families, and personnel associated with the        might have attended India’s debut
statement on Friday afternoon. “Meetings           Championship including the local team of           race and who will now have to
were conducted with the Ministry of Interior,      volunteers who are so vital to the event.”         cancel and re-make arrangements is
the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the             With the Bahrain Grand Prix taking its place     also pertinent.
Bahrain Motor Federation and Bahrain               on the calendar on October 30, the inaugural          No-one is suggesting that Bahrain
International Circuit, as well as other national   Indian Grand Prix has been moved to the            should not host future F1 Grands
and international organisations including          very end of the season to December 11,             Prix. 2011, though, is premature.
Mr. Tariq Al Saffar at the National Institute of   making 2011 the latest end to a season since       Bahrain should, at best, be on the
Human Rights.                                      1963 when the South African Grand Prix took        2012 calendar, with an asterisk
  “It should be noted that the recent              place on December 28.                              alongside, pending extended proof
                                                                                                      that its people are no longer at risk.

                                                                                                                                           
Hamilton apologises for Monaco rant
LEWIS Hamilton has apologised to his fans and
rivals Felipe Massa and Pastor Maldonado for
his outburst after the Monaco Grand Prix.
   Hamilton came home a disappointing sixth in
Monaco before opening fire to the media about
the stewards being a “frickin’ joke” and slating
Massa and Maldonado’s driving as “stupid”. When
asked by the BBC why he is so magnetic to the
stewards, his Ali G quip “Maybe it’s because I’m
black” ignited considerable controversy.
   On the Monday evening after the race,
however, Hamilton issued an apology via his
Twitter account.
  “Hey guys. I wanted to apologise for last
weekend’s performance and also my comments
after, I never meant to offend no-one,” Hamilton
wrote. “I would also like to say thank you to
everyone on here, for their positive messages
and also to the angry messages. I can respect
them both.
  “To Massa and Maldonado, with the greatest
respect I apologise if I offended you. Both of you
are fantastic drivers who I regard highly. To my
fans lost and my fans won, I wish you nothing
but love and happiness. God Bless you. Onwards
and upwards, Montreal next.”




21 races scheduled in 2012                                                               PROVISIONAL 2012 CALENDAR
                                                                                         11 Mar: Bahrain

USGP back; Turkey set to be retained
                                                                                         18 Mar: Australia
                                                                                         01 Apr: Malaysia
                                                                                         08 Apr: China
                                                                                         22 Apr: Korea
NEXT year’s Formula One calendar is           same timeframe, while the only other
set to feature a record-breaking 21           significant change sees the Korean         06 May: Turkey *
events with the return of the United          Grand Prix move to late April, from its    20 May: Spain
States Grand Prix boosting the                current October date.                      27 May: Monaco
sport’s schedule from this year’s 20-           As expected, the United States           10 Jun: Canada
race tour.                                    Grand Prix forms a double-header with      17 Jun: United States
  The FIA unveiled its draft 2012             Canada in June, with the race at the
                                                                                         01 Jul: Europe (Valencia)
calendar following a WMSC meeting in          Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas
Barcelona Friday, with all current races,     slated for June 17. Other back-to-backs    15 Jul: Britain
including the Turkish Grand Prix, due         are Bahrain/Australia, Malaysia/China,     29 Jul: Germany (Hockenheim)
to be retained next year along with the       Spain/Monaco, Germany/Hungary and          05 Aug: Hungary
addition of a race in Texas for the first     Belgium/Italy.                             02 Sep: Belgium
time.                                           The Turkish Grand Prix is listed         09 Sep: Italy
  The season is set to kick off in Bahrain   “subject to confirmation”, as
                                                                                         30 Sep: Singapore
on March 11, with the season finale in        negotiations to extend the race
Brazil bringing the curtain down on           contract continue. The usual three-        14 Oct: Japan
November 25, meaning 21 weekends              week gap prior to the start of the         28 Oct: India
of action in 38 weeks. The provisional        European season has been cut to just       11 Nov: Abu Dhabi
schedule features six back-to-back            a fortnight, although the one-month        25 Nov: Brazil
races, twice as many as this year in          summer break has been retained in          * Subject to confirmation
order to fit the extra race into the          August.


                                                                                                          >> F1 NEWS




Alonso: silverstone crunch-time for title bid
FERNANDO Alonso insists the fight for          Massa in the hunt for the forthcoming          on developing the car.
the 2011 championship is not yet over,         two races in Canada and Valencia, but            “Clearly the gap in the championship
but says next month’s British Grand Prix       come Silverstone aerodynamic downforce         is widening all the time: we can do the
at Silverstone will be crunch time in the      will again be the main performance             maths, but neither myself nor the team
fate of his challenge, as Sebastian Vettel     differentiator due to the track’s numerous     are used to throwing in the towel. Already
heads to this weekend’s Canadian Grand         high-speed corners.                            today [Monday], I’ve been talking to the
Prix with a 58-point lead over his nearest       “Immediately after the race [in Monaco],     engineers about the new parts we will
rival.                                         I said the fight for the title was getting     have in Montreal, but above all, of the
  Alonso now lies 74 points adrift of Vettel   ever more difficult, not to say impossible,”   steps forward we must take for Silverstone,
having missed out on his best chance of        Alonso said during the week. “Sure, if         when we will back at a track which
victory so far this year due to a late-race    Vettel ends up winning a race in which         requires a lot of aerodynamic downforce.
red flag period in Monaco.                     we felt there was a chance of victory, then      “That’s where we will really see how
  Ferrari’s impressive straightline speed      you get a feeling of disappointment, but       our season is going to pan out. Up until
and strong mechanical grip is expected         that does not mean will not continue           then, we want to and we must believe in
to keep Alonso and team-mate Felipe            working hard at the track and back home        ourselves.”




   For your daily dose
   of Formula 1 news ...

                                                                                                                                       9
Virgin Racing parts ways with
technical director nick Wirth
VIRGIN Racing’s poor start to the season has          rivals in 2010, have extended their advantage
prompted the team to terminate its contract           in 2011, while minnows HRT have managed to
with technical director Nick Wirth following a        close in and challenge the Wirth-designed cars
board meeting during the Monaco Grand Prix            at some Grands Prix.
weekend.                                                 Wirth’s debut season with Virgin in 2010
   Wirth and his firm Wirth Research (WR) have        featured many low points too, the first coming
been at the helm of the Virgin operation since        before the season even started when they
its entrance into Formula One in 2010, but            realised the fuel tank was not large enough to
have failed to lift it from the back of the grid      complete a race distance. Wirth absorbed the
and have even faced competition from the ill-         cost of redesigning the car to fit a bigger fuel
prepared HRT at times this year.                      tank, and despite continuing to develop their
   Virgin Racing CEO Andy Webb confirmed in           car until the very last race, they failed to close
a statement last week that they have parted           in on Lotus.
company with Wirth as the team looks to take             Former Renault engineering director Pat
the technical development of its car into their       Symonds conducted a complete review of the
own hands:                                            team recently, from which Wirth’s departure
   “The decision has been taken that the team         was the result. As a shareholder of the team,
will take greater control of its own destiny,” said   it is not understood what Wirth’s involvement
Webb.                                                 with the team will be in the future, or if he will
   “Accordingly, having consulted with our            sell his shares.
existing technical partner during the course             For now the focus at Virgin will be on
of the past few weeks, we have been obliged           finding a new technical director for the 2012
to terminate our relationship with them. I            campaign. Symonds has been banned from a
believe that the steps we are taking in terms         direct role in F1 until the end of 2012 because
of our technical leadership and operational           of his role in the 2008 Singapore Grand
excellence will provide us with the robust            Prix scandal, but first on Virgin’s list may be
foundation required to go on and achieve our          Williams technical director Sam Michael who
performance objectives in the years ahead.”           will be leaving the Grove team at the end of
   Virgin came into 2011 hoping to break into         the season. Former Ferrari technical director
the midfield group from the very start of the         Aldo Costa may also be on the market,
year but have so far failed to qualify any higher     although he is now part of the Scuderia’s road
than 20th on the grid. Team Lotus, their main         car division.



Wickens joins Virgin as reserve driver
CANADA’S Robert Wickens has been added                  exciting time for me and Canadian motorsport,”
to Virgin Racing’s reserve driver roster for the        Robert said after Friday’s announcement. “The
remainder of the 2011 season, joining Japan’s           support of Marussia Motors and the Marussia
Sakon Yamamoto as back-ups for race drivers             Virgin Racing team has been fantastic, and
Timo Glock and Jérôme d’Ambrosio.                       I am dedicated to repaying that faith in me
  The Toronto-born 22-year-old is currently             by contributing everything I can to assist the
battling for the Renault World Series title             team’s objectives in Formula One this year.”
having finished runner-up in GP3 last year and             Team principal John Booth said he was
Formula 2 in 2009.                                      impressed by Wickens’ performances so far
  As part of his reserve driver role, Wickens           this year which has seen him take one victory
will attend all Grands Prix that don’t clash with       and three second places to be just one point
his Renault World Series season, meaning he             behind the championship leader. “Robert
will be at all races bar the Japanese Grand Prix        Wickens is a very impressive young driver who
which takes place on the same weekend as the            is currently going great guns in the Formula
World Series finale in Barcelona.                       Renault 3.5 Series, so we are delighted to
 “I am delighted to be confirmed as a Reserve           welcome him to Marussia Virgin Racing’s roster
Driver with Marussia Virgin Racing. It’s an             of Reserve Drivers,” said Booth.
10
                                                                                                                           >> F1 NEWS

                                          2013 engine regs could be delayed
                                         Teams have three weeks to decide
                                          F1 teams will know at the                     with Friday’s decision from         The FIA also confirmed that
                                          end of this month whether                     the sport’s governing body        plans to reintroduce ground
                                          or not the proposed engine                    likely to delay them by at        effect aerodynamics for 2013
                                          regulations revamp will be                    least a year. Ferrari, Mercedes   have been abandoned, with
                                          enforced in 2013, after the FIA               and Cosworth have all voiced      the chassis regulations due
                                          on Friday left the door open to               concerns about the new            to be based on the 2011
                                          a delay in adopting the rules.                engine specification, with        rules. Modifications will be
                                            The FIA will consult with                   Cosworth especially concerned     made to reduce drag which,
                                          the sport’s main stakeholders                 about the associated              accompanied by the new
                                          before possibly holding a vote                development costs.                engine rules, aims to produce
                                          of its WMSC members about                        Friday’s WMSC meeting in       a 35% improvement in fuel
                                          delaying the rules, but this                  Barcelona rubber-stamped          consumption.
                                          vote cannot take place any                    the engine regulations that         Other tweaks to the rules
                                          later than June 30.                           were previously confirmed         for 2013 will include a limit
                                            The FIA is facing                           in December, namely 1.6-          on the front nose height to
                                          mounting opposition from                      litre powerplants with high       improve safety, a limitation on
                                          engine manufacturers on                       pressure injection, limited to    transmissions to reduce costs
                                          the introduction of the                       12,000 rpm and with extensive     (gear ratios and number of
                                          fuel-efficient 4-cylinder                     energy management and             gearboxes) and an increase of
                                          turbocharged engine for 2013,                 energy recover systems (ERS).     the minimum weight to 660kg.




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                                                                                                                                                        11
              Short
              Straights
                                         Perez and Petrov expected
                                         to race in Canada
  n Lotus-Renault GP has been
cleared by Quebec authorities
in Canada to race with its black
and gold livery in this weekend’s        SERGIO Pérez and Vitaly         seventh Formula One race.        expecting any problems
Canadian Grand Prix. Due to its          Petrov are both expected          “I feel very good and fit.     that will stop him racing
striking resemblance to the 1980s        to be back in action for        Of course I want to race in      in Canada, having hurt his
tobacco-sponsored livery of Team         the Canadian Grand Prix         Montreal, but I also know        ankle when he crashed
Lotus, Renault’s livery could have       this weekend after their        the final decision is up         into the barriers at the
been banned by anti-tobacco              crashes in Monaco.              to the FIA doctors,” said        Swimming Pool chicane
legislation, but the Ministry of           Both had to spend time        Perez. “I have never been        towards the end of the
Health has agreed for the team           in Monaco’s Princesse Grace     to Montreal and know the         Monaco Grand Prix.
to run with an unchanged colour          hospital for observation and    circuit only from watching         “Physically I’m feeling fine
scheme. “We’re delighted to be able      precautionary checks, but       TV. Originally it was planned    with no problems,” said
to race in Montreal in our usual         suffered only minor injuries    I would go to the Ferrari        Petrov. “I’m feeling better
colour scheme,” said team principal      that should not keep them       simulator at Maranello, but      than I was after the race
Eric Boullier. “The Quebec authorities   from returning to racing        this had to be cancelled         in Monaco. My ankle is
noted that the current livery makes      action in Montreal.             after my accident.               fine and I don’t see any
a reference to images from the             Perez suffered from             “Anyway, it is not the         problems for the race in
1980s when the car was sponsored         concussion after his heavy      first unknown circuit for        Canada.
by the tobacco industry, but it has      contact with the barriers       me and I have never had            “Above all, we must get
also accepted the fact that Lotus-       during qualifying, and          difficulties adapting. I found   to the finish line and score
Renault GP receives no direct or         will have to undergo            it very hard to be just a TV     some good points because
indirect financing from the industry     medical checks by FIA           spectator for the race in        we know we can do it. We
in question.”                            doctors in Montreal before      Monaco, and can’t wait to        are well aware that our car
  n Group Lotus says it is more          he is cleared to race.          get into the car again.”         is very quick so we need to
committed than ever to succeed in        Nevertheless, he says he is        Renault’s Vitaly Petrov       minimise our mistakes and
Formula One after being granted          feeling fit and ready for his   meanwhile says he is not         the results will come.”
the right to use the ‘Lotus’ name in
the sport by the London High Court
recently. CEO Dany Bahar said they
were looking to appeal the decision
which allows the rival Team Lotus
outfit to continue competing in F1.
“The judgement grants Group Lotus
the rights to use the name ‘Lotus’
and the Lotus roundel on their own
within F1, we are, therefore, even
more committed than ever before to
our long term plan within the sport,”
said Bahar.
   n Red Bull’s Mark Webber has hit
out at the FIA’s decision to reinstate
the controversial Bahrain Grand Prix
on the 2011 calendar. The Australian
slammed the delayed decision
making of the FIA, while also
doubting if the race would actually
be held. “Even though a decision has
been made, I’ll be highly surprised if
the Bahrain Grand Prix goes ahead
this year,” Webber wrote on his
website. “In my personal opinion,
the sport should have taken a much
firmer stance earlier this year rather
than constantly delaying its decision
in hope of being able to re-schedule
it in 2011.”

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                                                                          1
Armed guard for Bad-boy Simonc
THE circuit of Catalunya laid on armed    Race Direction on race eve, after the          “For me it was clearly a racing incident.
guards for Marco Simoncelli, after        ride-through penalty at Le Mans that         I have my fault, because it was not
there had been threats to his life in     cost him his first MotoGP-class rostrum.     necessary to resist Pedrosa. I could
the weeks after the French GP incident,      Afterwards, officials issued a            wait until some other point to overtake.
where he took out local hero Dani         statement saying he had promised to          There was still time, with 10 laps to go.
Pedrosa.                                 “evaluate situations better and be a little     “Looking at the TV I understand I did
  Two burly men, dressed in San           more cautious”.                              not leave enough space for him. I spoke
Carlo Honda team uniform to avoid            The statement said: “Race Direction       with Rossi, and he said I did a mistake;
drawing attention, accompanied him        informed Simoncelli that they wished to      I closed the door too much. It’s his
everywhere in the paddock, and even       ensure that he was aware of his mistake      opinion.”
to the post-practice Press conference.    and to avoid any repetition in the future.
  They were from the local police, a        “Simoncelli responded that in the
team spokesman explained, provided        interval after the French Grand Prix         Footnote: Race Direction was busy
free of charge ... although they had to   he had had time for reflection and           with the penalties again at Catalunya.
pay for the single guard who protected    regretted the statements he had made         French rider Johann Zarco was given
him overnight.                            in the heat of the moment immediately        a 20-second penalty after barging
  It may not altogether have been an      after the Grand Prix. He also recognized     leader Nico Terol onto the grass to
over-reaction: the crowd booed and        that he had made an error of judgment.”      lead him across the line. After the
hissed the Italian at every opportunity;     The rider said: “Maybe it would have      Moto2 race they announced that there
and hostile signs were festooned the      been better if they called me before,        would be a hearing before the next
grandstands – including: “SIMONCELLI –    but it is normal because I never spoke       race to investigate a crash in which
WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE”.                    with them after they penalised me at Le      Kenan Sofuoglu rammed Julian Simon,
  The rider was summoned again to         Mans.                                        breaking his leg.




Edwards misses first race since 2003
Texan breaks a record
141-race run
MONSTER Tech 3 Yamaha                 never to miss a MotoGP race,
rider Colin Edwards broke his         but it was a run I was pretty
collarbone in seven places –          proud of,” he said.
requiring a plate with 13 screws       “I understand the decision,
to repair it – in free practice       but my shoulder feels great. It
on Friday, one of several riders      was never my intention to do
(including Rossi) to fall victim to   the full race ... I just wanted
cold tyres at the downhill Turn       to do a couple of laps. I only
Five, the first left-hander after a   considered it because I was
long run of rights.                   here in Barcelona and it seemed
   But the tough Texan was back       pointless to break the streak.
at the track on Sunday ... and        But I’m too big and too old to
determined to race.                   get upset.”
   He was prevented from                 He pledged he would be
starting after a medical              ready to race next weekend at
examination, breaking a run of        Silverstone.
141 consecutive GP starts, with         Aged 37. Edwards is the
Aprilia, Honda and Yamaha.            second-oldest rider on the grid.
  “It’s not a lifelong ambition       Loris Capirossi is 38.
1
                            >> Moto GP news
       Radiation scare goes
elli   nuclear




       JORGE Lorenzo is leading            cited a documentary he had just
       calls to cancel the Japanese        seen on Spanish TV, about the
       GP, postponed until October         Chernobyl disaster.
       2, over fears of nuclear              “If the race goes ahead I am not
       contamination at the Motegi         sure if I will go,” he said. “I will
       circuit.                            try to get some information on
          The World Champion held his      what will happen if I do not go.”
       ground in spite of opposition          The Fukushima plant was
       from Dorna and IRTA, citing the     damaged in the earthquake in
       support of “99 percent of the       May this year, and it was later
       riders” for his fears.              admitted that one of the reactors
          Rossi also expressed fears, as   had melted down. There is still
       did almost all the other riders     an exclusion zone around the
       asked. But this was in the face     plant, with work still in progress
       of scientific evidence that         to contain the problem and
       radiation levels at Motegi –more    neutralise the danger.
       than 100km from the stricken           Rossi, like many of his peers,
       Fukushima nuclear plant – are       shared the fear, but said: “I think
       quite normal, and no threat.        it would be clever to take some
         “I don’t believe governments,”    independent advice. We have
       he said. “Not just the              been told by Dorna that the
       Japanese government, any            race is 99-percent certain to go
       government.” Nor was he             ahead, but I think we should
       receptive to a suggestion           wait two or three months before
       that if the reassurance of the      we decide for sure.”
       United Nations Atomic Energy           Nicky Hayden explained the
       Commission was not enough           anomaly, whereby riders in a
       the riders could appoint an         high-risk profession appear to
       independent scientist of their      be so ultra-cautious. “Those are
       own to report on the situation.     dangers that we choose, and are
          The problem, he explained,       under our control. The problem
       was that nobody could really        with radiation is that nobody
       assess the real dangers. He also    really knows about it.”
                                                                             1
            HIGH
            SIDES
  n  Two new machines for next
                                          Ducati releases new
year’s Moto3 class made their debut
at Catalunya. One was the Spanish-        Rossi: ‘I am almost at my maximum now’
built BeOn machine, with a 250 single
                                          BOTH Marlboro Ducati riders Valentino            much improved, but they still needed
Honda motocross engine, although
                                          Rossi and Nicky Hayden used the                  more work to improve grip and stability
it can be modified for other engines.
                                          latest heavy-crank version of the                at the rear.
The Honda NSF250R is an example
                                          Desmosedici engine at Catalunya –                  “The prototype 1000cc bike is already
of a planned first production run of
                                          citing a small but useful improvement            better than this year’s bike, but we
450 bikes, with a backward-leaning
                                          in smoothness and bottom-end                     cannot incorporate the design to this
cylinder, a cassette gearbox and 35.5
                                          response.                                        bike,” he said.
kW (47.6 bhp) at 13,000 rpm, and
                                             And Rossi spoke of continuing                    The new engine was his third from an
an underwhelming purring exhaust
                                          improvement in the motorcycle ... and as         allocation of six, but team-mate Hayden’s
note. It will cost 23,600 Euros, but GP
                                          importantly in his physical condition. “I        fourth after he lost one in a blow-up at
contenders will need to spend more
                                          am almost at my maximum now,” he said.           the third round at Estoil.
on special kits from Geo Engineering.
                                            “This was the first time I rode without          “I am a little bit worried,” he said.
  n Dani Pedrosa’s absence spoils         painkillers. My shoulder was painful               “But if we have no other problems we
his title chances, but the bigger         under hard braking, but it did not               can make it. Last year we had to turn
loss to Honda will be his absence         interfere with my braking.” He injured his       down the rpm a bit later in the year.”
from testing next year’s 1000cc           right shoulder in a motocross crash after           Former Ducati team-mate Stoner lost
machine, according to Stoner,             the first race last year, and underwent          an engine in a crash at the first round
who has ridden the bigger bike,           surgery at the end of last season.               last year, but still made it to the end on
and loves it. “Different riders have         Technically, he said “the bike has good       his allocation of six. Riders exceeding
different opinions, important for         potential, but there are still a lot of small    the allocation have to start the next race
development,” he said.                    problems we need to fix.” Front grip was         from pit lane.

  n Dunlop will be sole tyre
suppliers for the Moto3 class, it was

                                          Pedrosa adds to his injury woes
announced at Catalunya, along
with an extension of the company’s
contract as sole supplier to Moto2
until 2014. But the Honda taken on        Mystery surrounds training 'crash' ...
a demo run at Catalunya by former
champion Alex Criville was using          DANI Pedrosa missed his home GP,                weekend. At first there were rumours
Bridgestones ... original equipment       and may miss next weekend’s race at             that he had fallen off a bicycle to
for the production racer.                 Silverstone as well, after reportedly           exacerbate the injury; but other
                                          sustaining further injuries while               reports were that he had fallen off a
  n Jorge Lorenzo displayed a             trying to get fit following his broken          Supermotard bike in a training crash
picture of a cucumber on the              collar-bone at the Le Mans GP three             and dislocated his other shoulder.
starting grid for the MotoGP race,        weeks ago.                                        Sources close to the Repsol team
with the legend “Espana Es Salud”            The injury was plated and screwed,           were citing “a domestic accident” as the
(Spain is healthy). It was a response     and he would normally have been                 reason for the complication, without
to accusations from Germany, since        expected to be ready to race this week.         further enlargement.
retracted, that Spanish cucumbers         But he announced that “rehabilitation             Pedrosa’s title campaign is already
were responsible for 15 deaths from       has not gone as quickly as we had               badly dented. Missing another race
an outbreak of E-Coli food poisoning      hoped,” and that he would not be able           could ruin it completely.
in Germany.                               to race.                                         “I think Dani is the only real threat to
                                            `But persistent rumours of further            Casey Stoner this year ... but now he is
   n Toni Elias denied that spending      complications hardened during race              absent,” said Rossi.
a year away from MotoGP riding
the much simpler and less powerful
Moto2 bikes (he won the inaugural
championship) is responsible for
his dire results. “I don’t know what
my problems are caused by, but            ADVERTISE in GPWEEK
it is not that. Moto2 riders will not
have special problems moving up           to access a HUGE
to MotoGP,” he said.Pablo Nieto,
because they needed a Spanish rider
for their sponsors.
                                           global audience
1
                                                                                       >> Moto GP news

engine




 Announcement of new MotoGP entries delayed
 Claiming Rule teams request late rule change
 THE list of new teams for next year’s      rules. “We want to announce the list at the     15,000 Euros or 20,000 with gearbox, and
 revised MotoGP class, due to be            next race at Silverstone ... we can’t wait      only once from any one team.
 announced at Catalunya, has been           until the next race at Assen.”                    One proposed new team is from
 put on hold for at least a week, amid         He would not give a number of the            Scotland, run by entrepreneur Ian Arnott.
 arguments about the controversial          new teams, but said: “enough deposits             Arnott originally planned to join as a
 claiming rule that will allow factory      have been paid and it is looking quite          constructor, but is now considering the
 teams to “claim” any engine they feel is   encouraging.” Nor could he say how              CRT option, with an Aprilia RSV-4 engine
 too successful.                            many new teams would race under the             as base. His team includes former Suzuki
  “Some teams want the rules changed        looser CRT rules, with double the engine        crew chief Stuart Shenton and former
 so there is a performance criterion,”      allocation and extra fuel.                      Dunlop engineer Peter Ingley.
 explained IRTA chief Mike Trimby.           “Some teams are still either/or, waiting to     “I am not very happy with the claiming
 Claiming would then only take place if a   see if they can lease factory bikes or if CRT   rule as it stands,” he said. “I am not
 CRT achieved certain results.              will be a better option,” he said.              prepared to lose our technology for
   Discussions over the coming week            Under the claiming rule, only full factory   15,000 Euros. We are withholding our
 would, he hoped, establish acceptable      teams will be allowed to claim engines, at      deposit until it is satisfactorily resolved.”



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                                                                                                                                        1
            5 MINUTES WITH ...

                                                      Filippo Preziosi
The Ducati Corse general manager is an old-school racing engineer, like his Ducati
predecessor (and desmodronics pioneer) Fabio Taglioni And he does it all from a
wheelchair, after suffering partial paralysis in a bike crash. He spoke to Michael Scott
 GPWEEK: Firstly, next year’s bike.             the two-cylinders is not competitive,       is not dictated by the rules, but by
 What size is the engine?                       leaving just an advantage in                the amount of money that you have.
   FILIPPO PREZIOSI: In agreement with          weight that is not enough. I believe        What the rules can do is reduce the
 the rule – over 800cc, less than 1000.         strongly that two cylinder is the best      difference in performance between
                                                engine for a bike, in general. But          companies that have different budgets.
 Is there an advantage in                       we had to build a four-cylinder.               So if everything is forbidden, if
 not going to full size?                          At the same time, we decide to keep       you have a lot of money you will
    It is a compromise between                  the desmo because we believe it is an       spend a lot of money, but maybe the
 performance and fuel consumption. This         advantage, not because of heritage.         advantage you find is not so great.
 could be a reason to not have 1000, but
 I am not saying our engine is not 1000.        Talking of rules, which do you              If it was anything goes, then surely Honda
                                                find the most restricting?                  as the richest company would win?
 Have you tried different sizes?                   Fuel consumption. The engine-               Maybe. But I think there is an
   We calculated the different possibilities,   life rule is more or less manageable.       option. If you are developing a
 and then made the engine.                      Challenging but manageable.                 rocket, Honda will win forever. But
                                                   I think both of them are clever          because you have to manage riders,
 With 1000cc, the revs will be lower            rules, because they push race               there is another element. So maybe
 than now. Will you lose some of the            engineers to develop technologies           to be flexible and open will help.
 advantages of the desmodromic system?          that are useful for production.
   It’s possible, but we are working on                                                     Ducati uses a unique very small
 new desmodromic geometry in order to           Are they really useful, or just             carbon-fibre chassis. Is it not more
 have maximum advantage. With lower             encouraging special materials or            difficult to control flex with the
 revs you can increase the squareness           techniques only valid for racing?           material, and such a small chassis.
 of the cam profile (to achieve faster            Our mission is to develop technology         No. In reality it is easier than with
 opening and closing of the valves).            and to make that technology                 an aluminium Deltabox, where
                                                available for production. And after         mainly you change the thickness of
Any chance Ducati will                          that the production guys choose             the metal. With carbon-fibre you can
abandon desmodromics for                        which solution they feel is useful.         change the thickness, use different
pneumatic valve springs?                          Sometimes, for example, in racing we      fibres, and change the orientation of
   I don’t see any big advantage in using       use technology that changes the setting     the fibres. So you have three degrees
pneumatic valves if you can have a              of the bike corner by corner. This is not   of difference you can manage.
desmodromic system. It is a lot easier to       useful for production. But a lot of the        For me, it is not difficult to reach
get the know-how of pneumatics. The             things we are developing are useful.        the stiffness target. What we are
knowledge is available on the market. It          For example, rather than special          trying to do now with Valentino is to
is just a matter of paying, and you have it.    materials to increase durability, you       understand what is the right target.
   With desmodromics you have to                have just to think, to simulate and to         We changed completely our mind
start from zero and it takes years.             experiment, with small modifications.       in the last months, because the
                                                Sometimes just a bigger radius              experience we have from the tubular
 Or you could buy desmodromic                   between two different surfaces can          frame to the monocoque with Casey
 info from Ducati.                              increase a lot. Or to take care about       we went in a different direction. Now
   We are not selling.                          the roundness or something like             Valentino is pushing us in a new way.
                                                that makes more differences than a             We did a step this year, but just the
  Does the Ducati desmo heritage, the           lot of money on special materials.          first step. We will do a lot of different
 previous years, influence you?                                                             steps, this year and next year.
   We are proud of our history, but we are      What rule would you like
 racing against Honda and Yamaha, so we         to see introduced?                          The step was to greater flexibility?
 have to have an open mind. This is why           Everything free.                            A lot. We don’t know what will be
 we built a four-cylinder at the beginning                                                  optimal. We made one big step and
 of our MotoGP adventure. Even though           Then success would go to who                Valentino is happy about it. But I
 our company is a two-cylinder company.         had the most money to spend.                am 100 percent sure we are not at
   Who wrote the rules decided that               The amount of money you spend             the optimum. We would be very
1
                                                  >> Moto GP chat




lucky to reach that in just one step.
  The Japanese have worked with this
stiffness for maybe 30 years. We are
just at the first step with the carbon
chassis. There is a lot of room for
improvement, but I am in a hurry.

Is Ducati working alone developing
carbon-fibre, or can you get
information from car racing?
   There is a big difference between a
car and a bike. We can learn only the
technology of the carbon. For me the
challenge is to define the best direction
of stiffness. It is a very enjoyable
interesting challenge for an engineer.

What difference has it made,
getting Valentino on board?
   Valentino is very different from Casey. But
I think bike we are developing now Casey
could be faster, or if not faster then safer.

Is it easier to listen to Valentino than
Casey? Do his words carry more weight?
   No. Of course he knows the Yamaha
and the Honda and he has many years
experience. To be honest, the language
is useful because when a rider has to
translate his feeling in words it is difficult.
With us speaking the same language
it is easier. Rossi is very clear when he
describes the behaviour of the bike. But
you have to believe every rider you have.

Are you happy with the progress?
  Not with the result, but I am happy
that what we are doing is good.

It must be specially difficult to
do this job in a wheelchair.
   For sure it is more demanding. I
would like to attend all the races but
I cannot. And I take time to do some
things that for other people are normal.
   On the other hand I have no time to ride
the bike, so I have more time to see the data.

Do you wish you could ride the
Desmosedici? Do you dream about it?
 Oh yes, I would like that.
                                                               19
          Email us                                                   ADAM                      eyes of the Bahraini royals.




                                                     opinion
          Something to say?                                                                       But Whitmarsh can’t be seen to lead
          Email us at                                                HAY-                      any revolt. The man is being pulled
                                                                                               from all sides. The matter could
          mail@gpweek.com
                                                                     NICHOLLS                  threaten to splinter FOTA – which
                                                                     GPWeek Editor             other forces would welcome, of
Bahrain GP reaction


                                                     T
                                                                                               course. I wonder whether Whitmarsh
I cannot believe what I have just read: The FIA             he announcement that Bahrain       is prepared to step down and let
has said that F1 is going back to Bahrain THIS              is back on has come as a shock     Eric Boullier do the talking, or if he’s
YEAR.                                                       to many.                           prepared to fight his fellow members
   If ever there was an example of the power            In Barcelona I spoke with a senior     in order to keep his shareholder
of the almighty dollar in F1, this is it.            figure in the Bahraini camp who           happy.
   I have not been a Max Mosley fan for a            told me the situation over there had         I would not like to be in his shoes.
while ... but his statement on the matter, that      cooled down and that they were               Mark Webber – who can always
there will be a price to pay by F1 for this          confident of rescheduling. But in         be relied upon as the one man who
decision, is correct. I hope major sponsors,         Monaco, where the teams sat down          won’t keep his lip buttoned while
via the teams, get together to stop this short-      and discussed the race, I understand      other drivers feel pressured to stay
sighted disaster.                                    the preference not to go was pretty       mute – says it’s still unlikely we’ll be
   Apart from the humanity factor (thank             much unanimous.                           going to Bahrain. "Even though a
you Mark Webber for standing up and                     Their reasons are three-fold: They     decision has been made, I'll be highly
being counted) there is no way the safety            don’t believe it’s safe; they believe     surprised if the Bahrain Grand Prix
of participants can be guaranteed in such a          going will send out a negative            goes ahead this year,” he wrote on his
volatile environment. I've been to Bahrain           message; and their staff need time off    website.
myself, not that long ago. The thought of            in December. Ultimately, the teams           We all want peace to return to
Bahraini 'security' is laughable.                    believe turning up will cost them far     Bahrain, and we want Formula One
   And by the way, boy am I glad I hadn't            more than they’ll gain.                   to return – whether to a kingdom
committed myself to support the opening                 FOTA chairman Martin Whitmarsh         or a republic. But despite the
Indian Grand Prix and now have to try and get        is in a very tricky position, given       assurances of Bahrain and the FIA –
my money back.                                       McLaren is 30 percent owned by            who sent their man Carlos Gracia
   Wrong, wrong, wrong.                              the Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding            on a fact-finding mission on May
                                   Matt Wynnum       Company – which is wholly owned by        31 – the fact is that reports made by
                                   California, USA   the Kingdom of Bahrain. Some teams        both credible western media and
                                                     could threaten not to go – and if that    intelligence services claim that it is
What next, an Afghan Grand Prix? Naaargh,            happens, it rather lets FOM and the       not. On Saturday Police fired tear
let's stick closer to home. Egypt maybe!             FIA off the hook as they can blame        gas and rubber bullets at protesters
  There is no justification for re-instating the     the teams for an ultimatum and, they      marching towards Pearl Square. Last
Bahrain race until it can clearly be proven          would hope, cancel the race while         Thursday, the day before the WMSC
(and that doesn't just mean a stage-managed          still looking like the good-guys in the   met, there was a similar stand off. On
political inspection) that the people of
Bahrain are safe.




                                                        MotoGP Cry-babi
                             Steven Bartholomew
                                Dartford, Kent, UK

Monaco madness
Amid the calls for 'changes' to the Monaco
circuit following the series of incidents going
into the chicane this year (in which nobody                                                       perspective there in risk assessment,
                                                       opinion




was really hurt, by the way) how about this:                                                      it seems.
   Why not open up that stupid, tight chicane                          MICHAEL                       But while most of them, and a
                                                                                                  number of paddock staff, agree,
again so it's not such a heavy braking zone
and allow the cars to 'flow' through there like                        SCOtt                      they are increasingly sounding like
they once used to. Dangerous? Absolutely not.                          MotoGP Editor              a bunch of cry-babies, with Lorenzo



                                                      T
More people get hurt on skateboards these                                                         (the recently reformed advocate
                                                             he controversy over the
days than in F1. Man up fellas!                                                                   of safe overtaking, and with a post-
                                                            Japanese GP, scheduled
                                    Robyn Foster                                                  earthquake sticker on his bike
                                                             for October 2, is becoming
                                  Papatoetoe, NZ                                                  supporting Japan) at the head.
                                                       increasingly tiresome. Jorge Lorenzo
                                                                                                     All sources of information put the
                                                       is leading the call for the race to
Sounds of Music                                                                                   risk of contamination at Motegi
                                                       be cancelled. Why? Because riders
Anyone who has concerns about how 1.6 litre                                                       from the Fukushima nuclear plant as
                                                       engaged in a pursuit that is self-
turbo F1 engines might sound, should listen                                                       negligible. There is more exposure to
                                                       evidently dangerous are scared
to a Moto2 field go by.! They thought that                                                        radiation on a commercial airliner at
                                                       of the unknown. Some lack of
would be crap – and it ain't!                                                                     altitude than at Motegi, where levels
                                Nathan Gardner
                                 Felixstowe, UK
0
                                                                                       >> GPWEEK OPINION




   BAHRAIN STILL NOT A CERTAINTY
  that occasion the security forces used        got to say, though, finishing the season       going to take place?
  bird-shot.                                    on December 11 doesn’t fill me – or              I jest of course. This is but a minor
    For the protesters the media coverage       many others – with joy.                        gripe compared to the message F1 has
  given to Formula One presents an                 Having been away for so long during         sent to the world, and how this will
  opportunity too good to miss, surely.         the increasingly elongated season, F1          affect the public opinion of the sport.
  The circuit has a big X painted on it. Now    personnel need their downtime to rest,         And on this subject, Webber has been
  I’m sure there will be a ring of steel put    to see family and friends, to attend to        most eloquent:
  around the place on the week of the race,     the garden, do the accounts, paint the          "I do not feel at all comfortable going
  but I think it’s unlikely they’re going       downstairs bathroom, or to watch all           there to compete in an event when,
  to stick a SWAT team outside my hotel         seven Police Academy movies back-              despite reassurances to the contrary, it
  room door.                                    to-back (I have had some gloriously            seems inevitable that it will cause more
    F1 has found itself moving from             unproductive off-seasons). I don’t even        tension for the people of that country. I
  the back pages to the front pages             open my mail when the season is on,            don't understand why my sport wishes
  once again, and it’s going to be a very       so imagine how bulging my letter-box           to place itself in a position to be a
  interesting prospect for media on race        is going to be by mid-December. And            catalyst for that."
  weekend, of that there is no denying. I’ve    when the hell is Christmas shopping              I’m not buying my plane ticket just yet.




es ...
 are absolutely normal. More, last week, on    reports were to be believed. On the other      that they’d like the race cancelled because
 the streets of Rome. Among other places,      hand, he was happy to put his trust in a       it would save them money ...the trek to
 like granite-rich Cornwall in Britain.        doom-laden post-Chernobyl documentary          Japan is both expensive and inconvenient.
    Yet the riders are kicking up no end of    he’d seen on Spanish TV during the                The most prominent voice of reason
 fuss.                                         weekend. (If he had seen a movie on            came from Casey Stoner, who opined: “My
    Dorna has insisted that the race is 99     vampires, suggested a paddock wag,             view is that a motorcycle race is one of
 percent certain to go ahead. The Japanese     would he refuse to race at Qatar at night?)    the least important things for Japan at the
 manufacturers are obviously keen that it         Rossi likewise is a strong advocate of      moment. The time and effort would be
 should. And so, it seems, is officialdom in   cancellation. Being Rossi, however, he         better spent elsewhere.” So here’s an idea.
 Japan. They are anxious to get the country    was able to get a laugh out of it. “My idea       Why don’t the riders put their money
 back to normal, as soon as possible.          is ... it would be better to go to Suzuka.”    where their mouths are? Pull out of the
    Lorenzo quoted a natural mistrust          (The old and very enjoyable Japanese GP        race en masse, and donate their fees
 of governments. Nor was he open to a          track, replaced by dull and sterile Motegi     (almost 1-million Euros in Rossi’s case, not
 suggestion that the riders might seek         on safety grounds after Daijiro Kato’s fatal   a great deal less for Jorge) to the tens
 independent expert opinion. Not even          crash there in 2003.)                          of thousands left homeless, jobless or
 the UN’s Commission for Atomic Energy’s          Some were honest enough to admit            bereaved by the earthquake.



                                                                                                                                             21

       >> MOTOGP CATALUNYA



STONER
  WINS YAWN-FEST
      Barcelona has produced
      some classic MotoGP races.
      Unfortunately, this wasn’t
      one of them ...
      Michael Scott reports




                                   2
T
        HE WORDS of Casey Stoner’s                 hoped for fireworks. Alas, the lion-maned         few laps. When he did I tried to stay with him
        Australian Repsol Honda predecessor        Italian was swamped at the start, and though      as long as possible.” It was a strong effort, but
        Mick Doohan came to mind at                he did pass Nicky Hayden’s Marlboro Ducati        he was a second adrift after only six laps.
        Catalunya. Taxed that his runaway          for sixth on lap four, he would get no further.      Team-mate Ben Spies was third, his
 wins made racing boring, he snapped back:            Stoner’s race was tense if uneventful.         first rostrum with the factory team. “The
“What do you want me to do about it ... slow       There had been rain overnight and in the          weekend was good – not great, but nothing
 down?”                                            morning, and shortly before half distance,        went wrong.” He’d had to work for it: Andrea
   Stoner’s rivals would be pleased if he          on lap 11, white flags were shown to signify      Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) was in his wheel-
 would. But with second-placed Jorge               a wet race. Spare bikes on rain tyres were        tracks until the closing laps, though not able
 Lorenzo (Yamaha) still leading the                being warmed up in pit lane, but the light        to do any more. But Dovi in turn had his
 championship, it’s not quite time for that yet.   intermittent drizzle on a couple of parts of      hands full with Rossi.
   The crowd of 81,838 rain-dampened               the track never amounted to anything more            In fact they did swap places over the first
 fans would also have been glad. In the            than a worry.                                     couple of laps, and Rossi said later: “I was
 absence of Dani Pedrosa, and with the race           Stoner told afterwards about how he had        pleased because I could pass him on the
 threatened with light showers halfway             managed to build up a gap of better than          straight. He passed me back, but it shows
 through, Stoner took the lead from fast-          two seconds by then. “I felt comfortable with     were are improving. The gap to the leader
 away Lorenzo on the second of 25 laps of          that. Then the rain came, more in some parts      is smaller ... I could still see him at the end.”
 the 4.727-km Montmelo circuit outside             than others, and you didn’t know where. I         Both he and Marlboro Ducati team-mate
 Barcelona, and won at will.                       got a bit nervous, didn’t know what pace          Nicky Hayden had used the new heavier-
   He was at the head of a soporific               to run. But I matched myself to the people        crank engine.
 procession. Apart from another big battle at      behind ... and it worked.”                           Rossi might have done better but for an
 the back, it was almost the only overtake of         Lorenzo had closed up a bit after the white    error in setting, in search of better rear grip.
 the whole race.                                   flag, but Stoner had it under control. At the     Morning warm-up was wet, denying him
   Expectations had been higher. With official     end he was 2.4 seconds ahead.                     the chance to test it. “I raced it, and it was a
 Bad Boy Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda)           Lorenzo’s best moment had been his flying      mistake ... but we are still learning.”
 on pole for the first time, everyone had          start, “but I knew Casey could pass me in a          He in turn came under threat from



                                                   >> MOTOGP CATALUNYA




                                                        One of those races ... after some
                                                        early resistance (left) Stoner rode
                                                        off into the distance (above)



Simoncelli mid-race, but then Marco backed off.
  “I got to within three tenths, but after a few
laps I was taking too many chances where
it was a little damp, and I decided to pull my
oars in and bring the bike home,” Simoncelli
said.
   Cal Crutchlow (Monster Tech 3 Yamaha)
was seventh, his best so far, after also
passing an off-form Hayden, troubled with
wheelspin in the long corners.
   The real action came at the back. As at Le
Mans, four riders were to and fro almost to
the finish. At the end, Loris Capirossi (Pramac
Ducati) narrowly held off Karel Abraham
(Cardion AB Ducati) by two hundredths.
Hector Barbera (Mapfre Ducati) was two
tenths behind, while Alvaro Bautista (Rizla
Suzuki) was less than a second away.
   Toni Elias (LCR Ducati) was a distant last;
Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda) was knocked
off by a crashing Hiro Aoyama (San Carlo
Honda).
   Lorenzo still leads on points, but Stoner
is creeping ever closer, 91 points to 98.
Dovizioso (63), Pedrosa (61), Rossi (58) and
Hayden (47) complete the top six.


                                                                                          2
A tale of two injuries
What price a broken collarbone?
It cost Dani Pedrosa a chance of
the championship last year, and
again this year. He’d only just
recovered from complications
from his left collar-bone break
last year when he broke his right
one at Le Mans three weeks ago.
   The injury was screwed and
plated a couple of days later, and
everyone expected him back for
Catalunya. He didn’t make it.
   On Friday in Spain, it was
the turn of Colin Edwards. He
snapped his right collarbone, and
went directly to the same Dexeus
clinic which repaired Pedrosa
last year. The injury was plated
and screwed, and on Sunday he
was back and ready to put on his
leathers.
   In 141 GP races, he hadn’t
missed one yet, and the Texan
didn’t intend to miss the 142nd
either.
   To the relief of all, he was taken
straight to the medical centre,
and failed the medical – an
unusual case in the liberal world
of MotoGP medicine, where even
concussion is generally treated
lightly, and nobody requires that
a rider should be able to walk
before he can ride a motorbike.
   But the will to ride was there.
   Why was it absent in Dani’s
case?
   Turns out the Spaniard had run
into further complications for
this second injury. Officially he
had injured his left shoulder “in
a domestic accident”. Unofficially,
he had actually dislocated it the
week before the race, crashing a
Supermotard bike.
   The truth is out there
somewhere, and it is surprising
that Repsol Honda didn’t want to
reveal it.
   Without it, Dani looked flimsy
and a bit of a ninny, for not
turning up at the race. Especially
when compared with the gung-
ho Texan.



   >> MOTOGP CATALUNYA


Two to
           – but how
           many to race?

tango
           MotoGP fans should be getting
           used to it by now ... but the
           sight of just 15 bikes on the
           Catalunya grid, dwarfed by the
           giant grandstands and long
           straight, was disheartening
           nonetheless. Especially after
           watching a pack of 36 line up
           for the Moto2 race less than
           two hours before.
              On a long track like this, 4.727
           km, they soon get spread out.
           Practice and qualifying were
           notable for the long spells
           between any motorbikes coming
           past.
              It shows how MotoGP is
           scraping along the bottom.
              It has been for a couple of years
           now. Proof? Points are paid down
           to 15th place. All you have to do
           to earn them is finish the race.
              This was the fourth GP in
           the last two years with such a
           depleted field.
              Last year, the same number
           lined up at Assen, Silverstone and
           Phillip Island.
              It had been almost 20 years
           since the last time there were so
           few: 15 in Germany in 1991; just
           14 in the USA in 1990.
              There have been other races
           where it was impossible to muster
           more. Even some with ten or less
           on the grid. But that was usually
           due to special circumstances,
           whether it was reluctance to
           travel to Argentina (11 in 1962,
           ten in 1961) or something else.
           Like in Germany in 1974 when the
           factory riders went on strike over
           safety at the Nürburgring.
              The record goes to Argentina.
           Just six on the grid in 1961, with
           Britain’s Frank Perris the only non-
           Latin American.
              No wonder there is such
           unseemly haste in opening up
           the class to production-engined
           Moto2 teams next year. Quite
           honestly, it can’t come soon
           enough.


                                            2
125: All arms and elbows
NICO TEROL (Bankia Aspar            sunshine broke through. They          ahead with four laps to go. As       third, with Vazquez next, the trio
Aprilia) took his fourth win in     played no part in events.             they started the last he swept       covered by seven tenths.
five races at home in Catalunya.      The lead was hotly disputed;        past under braking and soon            Zarco was dropped to sixth;
But he didn’t cross the line        Terol giving way on lap two to Le     had a gap of a few bike lengths.     then Faubel was narrowly ahead
first. Elbowed onto the grass       Mans winner Maverick Vinales          It looked in the bag ... until       of Sergio Gadea (Blusens Paris
on the exit from the last corner    (Blusens Paris Hilton Aprilia). The   Zarco’s attack on the last corner.   Hilton Aprilia). Adrian Martin
by Johann Zarco (AirAsia            rookie has been sent off from            Vinales stayed second, ten        (Bankia Aspar Aprilia) narrowly
Derbi), he had to back off and      the grid by Miss Hilton herself.      seconds adrift at the end.           defeated Jakub Kornfeil (Ongetta
watch the Frenchman take the          By the time Terol took over            Jonas Folger (Red Bull Aprilia)   Aprilia) for ninth; Britons Danny
chequer.                            again up front, on lap eight,         and fellow-German Sandro             Webb (Mahindra) and Harry
   Not long afterwards Race         the pair had been caught by           Cortese (Intact Aprilia) were both   Stafford (Ongetta Aprilia)
Direction applied a 20-second       Zarco, and two laps later the         slow away, but came through          crashed out together in the first
penalty, dropping Zarco to sixth.   Frenchman nipped into second.         to catch a battle between Efren      corner.
   The first race started with      Soon afterwards Vinales lost          Vazquez (AirAsia Derbi) and            Terol’s title lead opened up yet
lingering damp patches: a           touch.                                Hector Faubel (Bankia Aprilia).      more: 120 points to Cortese’s 72.
handful of riders used wet tyres,     Now it was a tactical game to          Faubel got pushed out; Folger     Folger has 68, then Vinales (65),
and paid the price as watery        the end, with Terol letting Zarco     narrowly defeated Cortese for        Zarco (63) and Vazquez (57).





                                                                        >> MOTOGP CATALUNYA




Moto2: Bradl stays clear of mayhem
PREDICTABLY the closest race of the day,        then running over him in the gravel trap,       (Blusens FTR) and Mika Kallio (Marc VDS
Moto2 laid on a feast of close battles,         breaking one of his legs.                       Suter) swapping over the closing laps but
interrupted by spectacular crashes. Pole           By now slow starter Marc Marquez             finishing in that order.
starter Stefan Bradl (Viesmann Kieffer          (Repsol Suter) had caught and passed              Yonny Hernandez (Blusens FTR) was
Kalex) rose above it all for a third win in     Espargaro. They finished second and third.      ninth, a tenth ahead of Max Neukirchner
five races. The German was only headed             The front group had already been             (MZ), with Scott Redding (Marc VDS Suter)
once, when local hero Julian Simon              thinned on lap six, when Thomas Luthi           and Michele Pirro (Gresini Moriwaki) right
(Mapfre Aspar Suter) nosed ahead on the         (Interwetten Suter) slipped off the inside of   behind.
second lap.                                     his bike right into Yuki Takahashi (Gresini        Dominique Aegerter (Technomag CIP
   Bradl’s lead was narrow for the first half   Moriwaki). They fell spectacularly together,    Suter) and Mattia Pasini (Ioda FTR) were
of the race, with Simon and then Aleix          with Takahashi getting up and sprinting         among a number of others to crash.
Espargaro (Pons Kalex) up close. Then he        off the track to avoid getting run over. This      Bradl now leads even more comfortably:
started to draw away as the pair bickered       also put luckless Bradley Smith (Tech 3) out    102 points to Corsi’s 59. Andrea Iannone
with Kenan Sofuoglu (Technomag CIP              of serious contention.                          (15th after a disastrous qualifying) 49 and
Suter).                                            The pursuit was still close at the end,      Simon are on 49, then Takahashi and Luthi
  That lasted until lap 16, when a              with Simone Corsi (Ioda FTR) ahead of           47. Marquez is closing on 45.
hopelessly over-ambitious Sofuoglu              Randy Krummenacher (Kiefer Kalex), Alex
rammed Simon, knocking him flying and           de Angelis (JIR Motobi), Esteve Rabat



                                                                                                                                        29
24
 A 193mph Nissan, three drivers, and 24 hours. We must be talking about Le Mans,
 right? Wrong. This is the 24 Heures du Blighty. Adam Hay-Nicholls explains



30
>> FEATURE




             1
U
         nlike the legendary French           lights like electric oven hobs. It’s an    periods. When held in one position, the
         endurance race, which covers         intimidating, snarling beast. Its 530      muscles adaptively shorten, particularly
         the same distance as London to       horsepower is enough to tear the road      the hamstrings at the back of your upper
New York, we’re criss-crossing southern       in two, and it boasts more technology      leg.”
England and abiding by the speed              under its bonnet and dashboard than a        This means I have to do a series of leg
limits. But the set-up is similar.            Palo Alto expo.                            rotations and pelvic thrusts, which would
   Driving a Nissan GT-R for long periods       After a meal of chicken and steamed      be fine if there wasn’t a whole team
requires focus. Filling its mirrors for the   veg, to give us sustained energy, washed   watching inside the narrow confines of
whole journey is a large motorhome,           down with an isotonic drink, it’s time     our Winnebago.
where the two drivers who aren’t on           for my first stint. But not before James     Henrietta Bailey, our nutritionist, is
duty can eat, relax and sleep. On board       Milligan, sports therapist for Lotus-      in charge of the kitchen. “The worst
is a team manager keeping track of our        Renault GP, has me do a series of          thing you can do is be on a blood sugar
progress and a nutritionist to ensure our     stretches to limber up for the drive to    rollercoaster, drinking lots of caffeine,
bodies and minds are primed.                  Luton. “The main issues with driving are   sugar, crisps; eating things that don’t
   Our journey starts and ends at             posture,” says James, “and in a racing     give you a long release of energy,” she
Silverstone, Britain’s home of motorsport.    environment this is even more extreme.     explains. Sounds like everything I’d
We familiarize ourselves with the GT-R.       The body is not meant to be in that        usually scoff on a road trip. “That’s
   It has the nose of a panther and rear      seated position and tensed up for long     because it’s easily available. Good
3
                                                                                                >> FEATURE




nutrition always comes back to a bit of         Lucas takes over GT-R duties when          into the GT-R, rubbing my eyes just as a
planning.”                                    we arrive in London, threading the car       Le Mans driver would when saddled with
  The GT-R is predictably outrageous          through late night traffic. We anchor the    the dawn shift. At 60mph and without
when the loud pedal is pressed. Its           motorhome in Bayswater and wait for          rival cars bearing down on me, it’s not
paddle-shift gears and g-force display        him to record his three-hour stint.          too much of a strain in comparison to
goad me to misbehave, but this isn’t a          It is 4.30am. I’ve just been shaken        what Lucas is soon to experience. But our
race track and we must stay in convoy.        awake and handed an energy drink, a          diet today is helping to make this British
Once at Luton Airport, it’s time to pick up   banana and a granola bar. I’m in the top     tour a breeze. And getting used to these
a video-gaming VIP.                           bunk of the Winnebago and, peering           sleep patterns is a useful part of Lucas’
  Lucas Ordonez is the first racing           through the Venetian blinds I can just       training.
driver to have gone from virtual to           about make out a rocky outcrop, which is        By noon, having taken a loop back
reality. In 2008 the Spaniard beat 25,000     Stonehenge. When I’d nodded off several      to London and then up the M40 to
PlayStation gamers on Gran Turismo to         hours ago we were in still London. From      Silverstone, our circuit is complete. Neither
win the GT Academy, earning an actual         the bright lights of Piccadilly Circus to    the GT-R nor the drivers broke a sweat. Co-
race drive in the Dubai 24 Hours. Now         this ancient druid temple cloaked in         driving with Lucas was a pleasure, but for
the 26-year-old is about to achieve his       darkness, it feels like we’ve traveled in    the real thing – 3000 miles at 200mph – I’ll
ultimate ambition, to race an LMP2 car in     time.                                        be leaving it to the pros. Unless I can get
the Le Mans 24 Hours this week!                 I’m due for my next stint and slide back   really good at Gran Turismo.
                                                                                                                                       
VIRTUAL TO REALITY
From PlayStation to Sarthe – that’s the unbelievable path taken by Lucas Ordonez, who


I
   magine starting out               I found in the PlayStation      Academy was the Dubai               Of course the big difference
   playing basketball on           a tool that allowed me to         24 Hours and drivers were           between virtual and reality
   the PlayStation and then        train for real racing. Before     saying ‘What’s this, who is this    is when you crash for real it
playing in front of 50,000         the GT Academy I felt I           PlayStation gamer? This is a        hurts and it’s expensive. Was
people at Madison Square           was good at racing games,         joke!’                              that a bit of a surprise the
Garden. Impossible right?          but not good enough to               Dubai is a really tough track,   first time?
Yes, but motor racing, it          become one of the best in         it was 60 degrees, and the            Yeah [laughs] of course. It’s
appears, is different. Three       Europe or to graduate to real     cars were extremely fast. But I     not as easy as it looks. After
years ago gamer Lucas              racing from the PlayStation.      was totally focused. Together       the European gaming final
Ordonez won the chance             Fortunately in 2008 the GT        with the team we did a really       we had a very tough training
to race for real, and this         Academy was born, thanks to       good job and at the end of          program with physical tests,
weekend he’s racing a Nissan-      Nissan and PlayStation, and       the weekend those drivers           mental tests and driving
powered LMP2 prototype.            the opportunity to go from        came to me and said they            tests. I was the winner, and
Game on.                           armchair racer to real racer      were quite impressed with           after that had three months
                                   came from that.                   the GT Academy story and my         training in the UK. So there
Have you always been                                                 performance.                        was preparation.
naturally good at video            There are no other sports,           Now, just a couple of weeks         Nonetheless, the first
games?                             really, where you could           before Le Mans, everyone is         race was difficult because
  Not particularly, I was just     go from being a virtual           talking about this story. Very      you have to learn how to
a normal student with a            competitor to a real              famous drivers who are racing       feel the car, the understeer
PlayStation 3. I’m a real racing   competitor. How did other         at Le Mans, people like Allan       and oversteer, everything
fan. I’ve watched F1 and Le        drivers react when you            McNish, know about my story         you sense in a real car
Mans for as long as I can          showed up – the kid who           and are really surprised and        which is hard to simulate
remember, and also my dad          races PlayStation?                quite excited about this. This      in a computer game. It was
and my brother raced. So I            It was funny, the first race   is totally new. I am the first      strange for me because I had
love motorsport.                   I did after winning the GT        bedroom-to-reality racing driver.   only done karting when I was




3
                                                                                                            >> FEATURE




explained it all to ADAM HAY-NICHOLLS
    really young. And that’s not     How big a step up is Le Mans       still enjoy racing against my        You’ve completed your
    the same as being in a proper    compared to the racing             friends on Gran Turismo.             MBA now. What are your
    GT car.                          you’ve done thus far?              Given your digital                   future ambitions beyond
      But the training I had with       Le Mans is a big step. Last     background, would you be             racing?
    the GT Academy and with          year I was doing the GT4           interested in working with             For me and my family it
    Johnny Herbert was fantastic     European GT Cup, racing            Formula One teams on their           was really important I finish
    and we proved in Dubai that      a proper GT car but that’s         simulators?                          my studies. I got my MBA
    we’ve got the pace. Three        completely different to              That’s interesting because I       after the Dubai 24 Hours.
    years later were headed to Le    my Le Mans car, which is a         talked with Pedro de la Rosa         Now I’m completely focused
    Mans.                            prototype; Five hundred            a couple of years ago, and he        on maintaining a career as
                                     horsepower, carbon brakes,         said that would be a good            a professional racing driver,
    How has this experience          aerodynamic downforce.             career path for me. We’ll see        working with Nissan and
    changed you, both physically     I’ve spent a lot of track          in the future, but I think I have    PlayStation, improving my
    and mentally?                    time adapting to the new           some skills for developing           race-craft.
       Three years ago I was         driving style and improve my       simulators.                            I’m focused on this first
    nearly 8kg heavier. I have a     performance. I think we’re                                              Le Mans, and then we have
    personal trainer so physically   ready.                             Can you see yourself having          Imola, Silverstone, Road
    things have changed a lot.                                          your own PlayStation game            Atlanta and China. Then we
    On the other side, I was a       Do you still play video            one day, like Colin McRae            shall see for next year. Motor
    normal student doing an          games?                             Rally?                               racing is never easy. You
    MBA in Madrid, and now I’m         Yes! PlayStation still sponsor     [laughs] That would be             don’t know when it might
    traveling around the world       me, give me games and              amazing! I know the owner            come to an end. Le Mans is
    racing nearly every month,       everything. But I’m always         of Gran Turismo, Kazunori            my biggest ambition and I
    meeting people everywhere,       traveling, so I don’t get much     Yamauchi, and maybe we can           hope to win it in the future
    so it’s a completely different   time. I only spend a few           do something together in the        – that’s a hell of a difficult
    life.                            days at home each month. I         future.                              target.




                                                                                                                                         
                   >> WRC FEATURE

Meet the
Next World
Champion!
 Mads Ostberg is ticking all the boxes
 according to MARTIN HOLMES
C
         ome and meet the next, or maybe         which was a lot quicker than the Opel          in 2006 which was when our world
         the next but one, world rally           as it had a 2.3 litre engine. I must have      championship activities began.”
         champion. 23 year-old Mads              done seven or eight rallies over a couple         Mads has endless memories of WRC
 Ostberg has been rallying World Rally           of years under the Swedish Education           rallying in the past five seasons of world
 Cars for the past five years but finally he     system.                                        championship rallying, 2006 to 2010:
 has the chance to drive a state-of-the-            Father Morten has masterminded Mads’          “The first time I scored a fastest stage
 art car, a Ford Fiesta WRC, and has found       career. He is a businessman based at Moss,     time was in Sweden in 2007 on the
 himself battling the top drivers of the         on the east side of the Oslo fjord. He is      Hagfors stage. Then the first time I finished
 world on even terms.                            head of a family NDS computer company,         in the championship points was in Finland
    The season opened with Sweden where          which provides packages of Microsoft           in 2007, even after we had to disconnect
 Mads led the rally itself for nearly half the   applications, starting with consultancy,       the propshaft and finish the rally in two-
 event and took second place, in any case        delivering hardware and products in            wheel-drive and just keeping in front of
 a remarkable result for a non-professional,     support, and after-supply service. Morten      Guy Wilks.”
‘paying’ rally driver, even if this was an       started this company when he was 23               2009 was a difficult year when the
 event where a Norwegian driver would            years-old, the current age of Mads, and        Adapta team tried to continue Prodrive's
 have found himself very much at home.           had little chance to take up rallying          efforts in making sense of the new model
    And as the season progressed, he             seriously until 1990.                          S14 car. Despite having to SupeRally with
 has kept on proving his talents. In the            His enthusiasm led to the formation         a suspension problem which incurred the
 ensuring five WRC events to date, he has        of the family owned Adapta Motorsport          usual 10 minute penalty, Mads finished
 finished in fifth place three times, behind     business – slogan ‘We adapt to anything!’.     seventh. That was in Sardinia.
 only the works Ford and Citroen drivers or      The Adapta Motorsport business is located        “Take away those 10 minutes we lost
 the former world champion Petter Solberg        in the same building as NDS. For a long        and we would have finished fifth, which
– on two of these occasions (Mexico and          time the Ostbergs had close connections        would have been our best ever result. That
 Argentina) it was only the first time he        with Prodrive and Subaru, in whose cars        was so disappointing, especially when we
 had competed on these rallies. On the           Mads based his formative rallying years.       later discovered everything went wrong
 other two occasions he was let down by             Mads: “I did not have the chance to do      because a securing pin had been inserted
 the same failure, the transmission casing,      much actual rallying until I was 18, but all   the wrong way round.” In those five
 which shattered as the car left the start       the time I was allowed to do some runs in      seasons, always as a completely private
 line of a stage.                                my father's rally car when he was testing      entry, Mads gained Drivers' championship
    Mads is already in his tenth year of         his own car. The first time father allowed     points eight times.
 active rally competition. He started            me to go flat out in a rally car was when         Changes came in 2010 when Mads twice
 rallying as a co-driver for his father Morten   I was 16. The first time I rallied a World     entered a Fiesta S2000 in WRC events
 in October 2001, two days after his 14th        Rally Car was for some events at the end       before turning for one final appearance in
 birthday, and continued doing this off and      of 2005 just after my eighteenth birthday.     a Subaru at the grand old age of 23 years
 on for the next three seasons.                  This was at Lausitz in Germany when we         in the Wales Rally GB.
   “I did my first rally as a driver in June     were leading the champion Mathias Kahle           Why start off with a World Rally Car?
 2004, at the age of 16, in the ‘Education’      before we had trouble with the engine            “Because the cars were available. It
 class in Sweden with an Opel Ascona. I          and the gearbox.                               started when we had been in contact with
 did three rallies in the Opel, which was          “Then we did some events in Norway           Subaru Norway and they bought a car
 entered in a class for completely standard      in both an Impreza S7 and an S9 cars           for us. Father noticed that other drivers
 cars, and then I drove a modified Volvo,        and this led up to entering the Swedish        were starting young in big cars, notably
                                                                                           >> WRC FEATURE


Top Right: Ostberg on his debut
run in a Super 2000 Fiesta at Rally
Deutschland 2010.
Below: Ostberg learns the limits
the hard way in Rally Norway 2009.
Below Right: Mads with his fiancee
Veronica and Father Morten.




Jari-Matti Latvala and later Andreas         not have the facility to change the ride      the car before the season started.
Mikkselsen, who followed on after us.        height quickly like the Abu Dhabi cars          “Homologation was then planned
Andreas also did a vast amount of original   have, and we do not have the chance to        for January 2011 and therefore we
testing with a WRC before he was old         adjust engine mapping during events.          would have the car available for testing
enough to start rallying himself.            But I must say we have the best available     in our winter time and use in Sweden,
  “Looking back it seems to be a very good   customer specification.”                      with the plan for Mads to be part of a
thing to start early like that. Obviously       The move to Ford has been a major          Manufacturer championship team under
there is an economical risk aspect to all    change for the Ostbergs after so many         the name of Adapta, but it ended up with
this which prevents more drivers doing it,   years with Subaru and Prodrive, but really    homologation being further delayed
and even if the chance exists it does not    there was not a lot of option, according to   to the middle of 2011. That was a big
make the way forward any easier...”          Morten:                                       problem for us. We had people here at
   Morten explains he is more than happy       “It was only by chance that Mads is         Adapta needing work.
the way things are going this year:          rallying a Fiesta WRC not a Mini. Mads          “Taking all these factors into account,
  “As we run under the Stobart team          was the first invited driver to test the      the chance to go to M-Sport was the only
banner we get the first choice of customer   John Cooper Works car, in its very early      solution, and that in turn brought a lot of
upgrade parts as and when they become        days. For us, Mads' career and the            other opportunities for our company as
available, but we do not expect to have      work of our company Adapta, were              well. We still have very good relations with
the revised engines that Mikko and Jari-     the priorities. Situations regarding the      Prodrive. We are keeping the Subaru World
Matti use until Finland. Actually, we are    Mini project kept changing. Prodrive's        Rally Cars and expect to use them in the
never quite sure exactly what M-Sport        first plan was to have the Mini ready in      new Show Rallies which are being planned
fit into our car, but there are a lot of     October 2010. That all looked good. We        in Norway, so I do not think Mads has seen
important things we do not have. We do       would have the chance to get used to          the back of the Subarus just yet.
                                                                                              Left: Ostberg at the age of 18 on
                                                                                              his way to finishing second overall
                                                                                              at the 2006 Rally Norway.
                                                                                              Above: Ostberg at 19, taking first
                                                                                              WRC points at Rally Finland 2007.

        “It has been very satisfying when we      Mads: “Straightaway from the first test      to arrive. Sebastien then arrived in his
      have been able to get results with the   I did in Germany it was a nice car to drive.    helicopter. Actually it was the first time
     cars that the works Subaru team did       The Fiesta handling suits me very well, I       Sebastien had driven an S2000 car and he
not manage to do, and this carried on until    always like a car that is responsive on the     let me sit alongside him. Very interesting. I
we got to the S14 in 2008, when we could       steering, a car in which a lot of things can    could see how he drove on asphalt.
do no better than them. We tried very hard     happen straightaway. That was one of              “One of the things I noticed was the way
with the S14, testing for many kilometres.     the biggest issues I had with the Subaru. I     he braked going into the corners. He did
That car was the only time I was personally    feel the Ford fits me and my driving style      not use smooth lines like I expected. He
hoping to drive on a rally but after testing   very well. I can understand why Henning         was always placing the car in the middle
decided I really could not go through with     Solberg also likes it a lot. Henning helped     of the road when he was braking, rather
it. That car was awful to drive!”              me when we made plans to rally the Fiesta       than braking in what I would imagine to
   The old World Rally Car formula ended       in Germany and France.                          be the smoothest line through the bend.
last year. Now we all waited to see how          “The Fiesta is not my only experience of      The 207 had good handling, especially on
people would adjust to the smaller-            Super 2000. I have also driven a Peugeot        asphalt, also on gravel.”
engined cars in the world championship         207. When we went to PH Sport to do the            Another day, another experience,
in 2011. Mads had already come to know         test their car we had a big surprise. We        another step towards the future which
the 2-litre normally aspirated Fiesta S2000    had just finished our test but we were          seems to be very bright for the long-
during 2010, in Germany and France.            told to wait a while as Mr Loeb was due         haired lad from Moss.




Monte Carlo is Back!
2012 calendar released, running order rules revised

A
       fter a three-year            in 2012 – one more than           three long-haul events               November in Spain.
       absence, the                 the provisional calendar          (Mexico, Argentina and New             Decisions were taken at the
       Rallye Automobile            published in mid April, with      Zealand) and an eight-week           meeting regarding running
Monte Carlo will be back            Italy and Monte Carlo back        mid-season pause with no             orders on gravel events in
in the FIA’s world rally            and the proposed event in         European round of the series.        2012 for P1 and P2 drivers for
championship calendar in            Abu Dhabi absent.                   There is a traditionalist          Leg 1. On subsequent days
2012.                                 The removal of the UAE          feeling with none of the             the running orders will be
  The World Motor Sport             event means that there will       recent newly-admitted                in reverse. Current running
Council declared that               be no Middle East event           events being included, and           order systems on asphalt
there will be 13 rounds             in 2012. There will be only       the season will finish in early      events are not to be changed.
                                                                                              >> WRC NEWS




  The Wrong Man Won?                             directive continued into the rally itself;   declared that the confusion was as a
opinion




                                                 Citroen believed it was only for recce.      result of a lack of written clarification by
                 MARtIN                          Citroen drivers went one route, on one
                                                 stage, during the rally and won; Ford
                                                                                              organisers about the route round the
                                                                                              roundabout. The protest from Ford did not
                 HOLMES                          drivers went the other way and did not.      include a request for an adjustment in the
                 Rallies Editor                     b) Marker tapes were erected by           times on the stage, so no change in the



W
                                                 marshals at the scene, unaware that          results was made. This was unfortunate,
            as Sebastien Loeb the rightful
                                                 by agreement between the teams and           as under the split timing system it was
            winner in Argentina this
                                                 the organisers a choice was offered to       immediately possible to spot how much
            year? Increasingly it seems
                                                 the crews to take whichever route they       time was gained by taking a short cut
 that maybe it should have been Mikko
                                                 wanted, though the short-cut was clearly     and correct any anomaly. In fact, the
 Hirvonen!
                                                 preferable. On the first passage (Stage      splits show that Loeb at this point gained
    Reacting to a protest from the Ford
                                                 4), the Citroen crews saw the tape and,      5.5 seconds, Ogier 3.8 and Solberg 3.0,
 team the Stewards confirmed that
                                                 unexpectedly, had to take the longer         compared with their times on the earlier
 there was confusion over which route
                                                 route round the roundabout.                  passage. Hirvonen's time through the
 competitors had to take around the
                                                    Prior to the second run (Stage 7) the     sector was the same both times while
 roundabout in the middle of Stage 7, but
                                                 FIA Safety Delegate spotted the tapes        Latvala was 0.6 second faster second time
 the Stewards were not called upon to
                                                 blanking the short-cut route, realised       through.
 change the declared results of the rally.
                                                 there was a misunderstanding and               Loeb eventually beat Hirvonen by 2.4
 Discovering what had gone wrong, then
                                                 removed them before leaving the scene.       seconds.
 deciding who was at fault was complex,
                                                 When the Police at the corner saw the          The whole episode was extremely
 and dealing with other associated aspects
                                                 Citroens short-cut the corner, they re-      regrettable on three counts. (1) For Ford,
 the Stewards did not avail themselves of
                                                 erected the tape. Citroen personnel sited    who did not specifically challenge the
 the facilities in the result system to ensure
                                                 at the corner had been watching what         correctness of the stage times and lost the
 that appropriate corrections to times were
                                                 was happening and informed their crews       chance to claim a victory which by rights
 made.
                                                 that it was safe the second time through     was theirs. (2) For the sport, because it
    The whole problem was unwelcome.
                                                 the stage to short-cut the corner. Ford      made the Stewards appear to think it was
 It only happened because the FIA likes
                                                 crews, however, believed the route would     more important publicly to punish the
 mixed surfaced stages on events, and
                                                 be unchanged from the morning and their      organisers rather than ensure that the rally
 that this stage was one of the few
                                                 crews followed the same route as before.     was fairly won and lost. (3) And for the
 available locations in the route of Rally
                                                    c) On the Sunday morning, after           health of the championship, which sees
 Argentina where the FIA's wishes could
                                                 eventually receiving an unconvincing         the Citroen team gain more strength in
 be accommodated. But for that the
                                                 opinion from the organizers about this       their standing.
‘Roundabout Affair’ would never have
                                                 problem, Ford protested to the Stewards        The lingering doubt concerns why Ford
 happened.
                                                 that there had been genuine confusion.       did not ask for the results to be changed
    This was the scene:
                                                 This was before the finish, when the         and why the Stewards of their own
    a) The organisers wanted competitors in
                                                 significance of the eventual results would   initiative did not take steps to proclaim a
 recce to utilise the mid-stage roundabout
                                                 become evident.                              fairer result.
 in an anti-clockwise sense, the longer
                                                   The Stewards only considered the             And based on all that, it seems the
 way round, to accord with normal open
                                                 protest after the finish, when they          wrong man won.
 road traffic patterns. Ford assumed this
F1 returns to the scene of Robert Kubica’s amazing 2007 escape this week (he
returned to win the 2008 race!) with thoughts for the Polish driver as he recovers
from his devastating rally crash earlier this year
>> GPWEEK PArting Shot

				
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