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Rossi ready for pressure home race

Rossi ready for pressure home race

Rossi ready for pressure home race

Valentino Rossi admits he is expecting another high-pressure weekend when he arrives at the Mugello circuit for his home Grand Prix this week. The MotoGP World Champion lies third in the rider standings and has not scored a podium since his season-opening victory at Welkom in April, but insists he is looking forward to performing for the Italian crowd.

"Mugello is always a high pressure race, the most special for me of the year," says Rossi, who has won the Gran Premio Cinzano d'Italia for the past two seasons.

"There are a lot of Italian press there and I always have many weekend commitments, so it's quite a lot of pressure. But I love racing there, in front of the Italian crowd, the paddock filled with beautiful people! It's always a difficult weekend and in some ways it's a relief on Sunday night when it's all over."

Unlike several of his rivals, Rossi did not test at Mugello during the winter and admits he doesn't quite know what to expect when he rides the Yamaha there for the first time on Friday morning.

"I think the Mugello track is quite good for the Yamaha, especially on the corners," says Rossi. "There are chicanes and different types of corners, which is where I think we will have an advantage. The problem is the main straight, where we could be at a disadvantage."

"The Le Mans weekend was a difficult one and we didn't finish where we had hoped to, but we had a good day of testing on the Monday afterwards, and made some positive steps.

"I am looking forward to trying the M1 in Mugello for the first time at that circuit. Last year the race there was perfect for me, with all the riders giving 100%. It is bound to be a brilliant battle again this year."

MotoGP, 2004, Valentino Rossi

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