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Rossi refreshed and determined

Rossi refreshed and determined

Rossi refreshed and determined

Valentino Rossi returned to the MotoGP World Championship paddock today knowing that he will need one of the best performances of his season if he is to repeat the victory he scored at the Brno circuit one year ago.

On that occasion Rossi beat Sete Gibernau by just 0.042 seconds to complete a full house of pole position, lap record and race victory, and now hopes for a similar display of dominance as he looks to consolidate his lead at the top of the standings.

"I made a beautiful race in Brno last year," said Rossi. "It's not necessarily my favourite circuit and I really don't know how the M1 will go here as it's so diverse; high speed but still with many turns, up and downhill sections, adverse cambers, etcetera. Anyway, Checa was good there last year and Yamaha is very fast there traditionally."

Rossi knows he has to keep the pressure on his opponents at this vital part of the season with Gibernau and Max Biaggi both within striking distance of the series lead. "Although I'm leading the championship it's not by enough points to feel safe yet, every point from now on is crucial if we are to think about being in a position to win the championship.

"The win in Donington before the summer break was magic but there were still some problems and room for improvement. We made some good progress in the one-day test after Donington, where we tested new front fork settings and engine mapping. The stability felt better and it was a worthwhile day - but we still have a way to go."

"This year has so far been a real surprise and we have made remarkable progress. But Honda have made a lot of progress at the same time, and Sete and Max are stronger now than ever.

"I know that Yamaha will have been working non-stop through the summer break to make even more improvements, so let's see what happens here. The riders have had three weeks off so everyone should be revitalized. It's certainly going to be a great second half of the season, perhaps with even better battles than there have been in the first half."


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