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Rossi greeted by thousands in Leicester Square

Rossi greeted by thousands in Leicester Square

Rossi greeted by thousands in Leicester Square

Valentino Rossi once again received a rapturous welcome from thousands of fans of all ages at a special event held in Leicester Square, London, just two days ahead of the Cinzano British Grand Prix.

Over 3,000 people turned out to meet the MotoGP World Champion, who was introduced by BBC Sport television presenter Suzi Perry and answered questions about his life at the top of the motorcycle racing ladder and looked forward to the weekend's racing action.

"It is always great to come back to London and the welcome I have from the British fans is unbelievable," commented Rossi. "I have a house in the city and I spend a lot of time here, it is a wonderful place to live.

"Hopefully a lot of these people will be at Donington Park this weekend to celebrate with me. I have a good record there and, even though it is my first time with the Yamaha, I am hopeful of a good result.

"Donington is different to all the others. It has the medium to high-speed corners in the first part, including the hairpin, and then the second part is the ‘car park'.

"You need so much precision in the first part of the Donington track; the bike needs to be set hard for that bit. Redgate is important, just before the corner, because it's a good place to overtake and quite fast. However you shouldn't arrive there too fast, because you need good speed for the next section. Also the section before the hairpin is important for your overall lap time.

"The hairpin section for me is perhaps one of the best sections of the championship, down-up and very nice. Then the run up to Coppice is very hard because after about 5 laps you lose grip on the right side of the tyres. It's all over for me at that point because then you reach the ‘car park'! This section has the slowest track point of the championship, it's really difficult.

"I think Yamaha will have an advantage in the fast part as our bike is more agile, it's easier to change direction with than the Honda. Then later the braking stability and acceleration of the Honda could have an advantage. It will be an interesting race."

MotoGP, 2004, CINZANO BRITISH GRAND PRIX, Valentino Rossi

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