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Kawasaki John Hopkins has been in the wars again. This time he had picked up a rib injury he isn't entirely sure where it came from. He had to stop testing at Brno yesterday as he was in a lot of pain. It is thought he has separated a rib on the right hand side of his body.

Ducati's Toni Elias could well be in the frame for the mythical third Kawasaki ride. The Spaniard has denied he wants to switch to World Superbikes in 2009 (and go with the Spanish-bank backed Yamaha team).  Rumours abound that Jorge Martinez is most of the way to doing a deal with Team Green to run a third Ninja, and he would like a fellow countryman on the bike.

Valentino Rossi, while presumably laughing up his sleeve, has said he sympathises with the crisis which has befallen the Michelin riders in MotoGP. Yeah, I bet he does.


Nicky Hayden is now very close to signing a deal with Ducati to replace Marco Melandri, who is off to Kawasaki. But not officially. Yet.

Eugene Laverty is not very happy either. He and Fabrizio Lai had a bit of a tangle at Brno and Norge  is not chuffed to say the very least. After a gear first qualifying, the Irishman was running well in the race until his front tyre decided it was crap and took its ball home. And Lai put a dodgy move on Norge, which buggered up the rest of the race.

Chris Vermuelen is within inches of signing a deal with Rizla Suzuki which effectively rules AMA champion out of that team. Hello, is that Mr Tardozzi?

Apparently Jonathan Rea was in the frame to take Nicky Hayden's seat at Brno for a one-off, but his hopes were dashed by an HRC change of heart.

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