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Rossi cruises in Paris ahead of French GP

Rossi cruises in Paris ahead of French GP

Rossi cruises in Paris ahead of French GP

The MotoGP World Championship set up camp at the Le Mans circuit in bright and breezy conditions today with fingers crossed for a dry weekend at the Grand Prix Alice de France. After two consecutive wet races in Portugal and China, the fourth round of the season is again promising unpredictable conditions but the action is sure to be as spectacular as the first three rounds, which have seen Valentino Rossi open up a 25-point advantage at the top of the standings.

Rossi was in typically relaxed mood today, taking a cruise along the river Seine in Paris as he spoke to various local journalists. The reigning World Champion has a score to settle with the Le Mans circuit, one of only five tracks at which he missed out on the podium last season.

"Le Mans is not one of my favourite tracks, I had a difficult race there last year and only finished fourth," said Rossi. "I hope we leave there having resolved our problems, whatever the conditions are, and I have a feeling that we will. It can be quite tricky there if the weather is bad, so I really hope we have a bit of luck and it's dry, but at least if it rains we know we are in a much better position than in the past."

Whilst Rossi has dominated the championship standings ever since taking victory in the opening round at Jerez, his nearest challenger has changed with every Grand Prix. After Sete Gibernau and Alex Barros, the man now closest to the Italian after three rounds is his young compatriot Marco Melandri. However, Rossi admits that his biggest threat this weekend could come from home favourite Olivier Jacque, who is set for his second appearance after finishing just 1.7 seconds behind the race winner on his return to MotoGP as a replacement for Alex Hofmann in China.

"I am a bit worried about Olivier Jacque now because before the Shanghai race he said that he was only riding in China as a kind of training to learn the bike, and then he could concentrate on racing in Le Mans. He finished second in China so who knows what might happen in France!"

MotoGP, 2005, GRAND PRIX ALICE DE FRANCE, Valentino Rossi

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