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Camel Yamaha look for home improvement

Camel Yamaha look for home improvement

Camel Yamaha look for home improvement

The Camel Yamaha Team head into their home Grand Prix this weekend looking to turn a stuttering start to the season into a consistent challenge for MotoGP World Championship honours. The fast and flowing Mugello circuit in Italy presents an entirely different challenge to the tight complexities of recent tracks such as Le Mans and Shanghai and both Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards hope it can also deliver a similar contrast in the fortunes that have followed them around the world during a dramatic opening five rounds of the campaign.

After failing to score points at the last two rounds because of freak tyre and engine problems, Rossi now trails series leader Nicky Hayden by 43 points and lies eighth in the championship – his worst ever start to a World Championship season in any class.

"Mugello has been very good to me over the past few years – it is a very special race and this season it is even more important than ever," admits Rossi. "I have had some incredible emotions there over the years and it is always a very busy weekend for me, but it is crucial that we maintain our focus on the job because we have to be at 100% if we want to win again. The new chassis worked well at Le Mans and we have some good data from the test to improve it at Mugello so I have reason to be confident."

If Rossi did go on to win the title this year he would be the first rider ever to do so having had only one podium finish in the first five races of the year. It is the kind of challenge he relishes. "We have had a lot of bad luck but I don't think 43 points is such a big gap when there are still twelve races left," he says. "It will be difficult to win them all but I will settle for taking eleven wins and one second place! When you look at what has happened to us this season, mostly things out of our control, I probably lost 25 points in France, 16 in China and 14 in Jerez so if it wasn't for all that I would be in a much better situation in the championship now. I think we showed our true potential last weekend and it is just a matter of our luck changing now. Mugello would be the perfect place for that."

After a sixth place finish in Le Mans, Colin Edwards will be hoping to get back to his podium ways in Mugello. He is also relishing the chance to spend time in the motorhome.

"I love being with the family and living out of the motorhome instead of travelling all over the place staying in hotels. I find it helps me to focus on my performance on the track and hopefully it can give me an extra edge this weekend. That is the most important thing and at this stage of the season, with the way things have gone recently, we need every advantage we can get."

Another plus point for Edwards this week will be the delivery of a new chassis for his YZR-M1 machine, used by Rossi with positive results at the last round in Le Mans. "My bike has been the same since Turkey and whilst I have got comfortable with it now I think we have reached the limit in some areas. I did thirty laps with the new chassis at the Le Mans test and I could clearly see the extra potential. Now I'll have one from the start at Mugello and so that's something for us to get our teeth into from the first session and see how far we can go."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2006, GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA ALICE

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