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Simoncelli, Aoyama set for Ohlins switch.

"Next year it will be Ohlins, not Showa, so for me it will be another story" - Marco Simoncelli.
The 2010 MotoGP grid could well be an all-Ohlins affair after Gresini's Marco Simoncelli and Hiroshi Aoyama's Interwetten team both told Crash.net that Wednesday's Sepang test marked their last outing with Showa suspension.

Just one RC212V, Randy de Puniet's LCR bike, started the 2009 MotoGP season using Ohlins, with the factory Repsol team then trying the Swedish equipment - used by all of Honda's 2009 rivals - at the mid-season Brno test.

Andrea Dovizioso made the full-time switch to Ohlins soon after, while team-mate Dani Pedrosa opted to see out the season with Showa before concentrating fully on Ohlins, which Repsol will race with in 2010, from the Valencia test.

Meanwhile, Gresini and Interwetten (running the ex-Scot bike used by Gabor Talmacsi) continued to use Showa during the two post-season tests made available to them - suggesting their choice was less certain.

The advantage of putting all six Honda riders on the same suspension - it is assumed Simoncelli's team-mate Marco Melandri will also move to Ohlins - is that new parts developed for the factory bikes will have a better chance of suiting all of the satellite riders, while data gathered will also be more applicable to all.

The disadvantage, particularly for rookies Simoncelli and Aoyama, is that the 250cc world champions now have to learn a second type of MotoGP suspension - as well as their new 2010 bikes - in the three tests that remain before the start of next season.

“Next time we test we will have the new bike and for sure it will change a lot from this [2009] bike and also the suspension will be different,” Simoncelli told Crash.net, at the end of the three-day rookie test attended by himself and Aoyama at Sepang. “Next year it will be Ohlins, not Showa, so for me it will be another story.”

When asked, the Interwetten team confirmed that they were also still running Showa at Sepang, but will switch to Ohlins from the first test of 2010. They expect it to be a 'big change'.

Showa is a subsidiary of Honda, while Ohlins founder Kenth Ohlin bought back 95% of the company from Yamaha in December 2007.



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