Indy MotoGP: Valentino Rossi saves engine life

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Valentino Rossi reckons his decision to spend over 20 minutes in the pits during practice in Indianapolis today could become a common sight when new engine restrictions come into force in MotoGP next season. With riders now forced to use just five engines in the final seven races of 2009, today’s rain-lashed practice saw Italian Rossi miss the first 21-minutes to save engine mileage on his factory Yamaha YZR-M1. And the eight-times world champion reckons the sight of riders opting to save mileage will be a regular feature in 2010 with cost-saving restrictions meaning Rossi can only use six engines for the whole of next season. Rossi, who ended a rain-lashed opening practice with the third fastest time, said: “I stayed in to save the engine. I think with this rules next year you will see this situation a lot because to make 18 races with six engines you have to go on the track just when it is necessary so together with Yamaha we decided to wait 20 minutes.” Rossi, who goes into Sunday’s 28-lap race with a 50-point lead over Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, believes six engines is not enough to last for an 18-race world championship. He added: “For me six engines for 18 races is not enough. Many times you will see a lot of riders waiting in the pits and less bikes on the track."

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt