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Rossi: "We have to be on the podium at every round"

Rossi: 'We have to be on the podium at every round'

Rossi: "We have to be on the podium at every round"

After victory for Valentino Rossi at Mugello, the Camel Yamaha team head to Barcelona hoping to continue their turn of fortune.

Rossi travels to Barcelona, one of his favourite cities in the world, having reached several milestones thanks to his 55th career MotoGP victory at Mugello. As well as taking him above Mick Doohan to second place in the all-time winners list behind Giacomo Agostini, he will join the Australian as one of only two riders ever to pass 2000 career points if he finishes first or second at Catalunya.

Rossi's team-mate Colin Edwards has also been making his mark in the history books despite not yet hitting his best form this season. Despite running into the gravel early in the race at Mugello, the Texan managed to fight his way back to finish in twelfth place to extend his run of successive points scoring finishes to 27. Only Mick Doohan, Wayne Gardner, Eddie Lawson and Valentino Rossi himself have ever put together a longer run. Edwards' target this weekend is to celebrate number 28 on the podium.

Catalunya is one of Valentino Rossi's most successful events, being one of three circuits where he has already stood on the top step of the podium on seven occasions. For the past two seasons he has taken victory for Yamaha and he is hopeful of repeating that feat.

"Barcelona is always a great race for me and I've won there the last two years with Yamaha, so hopefully we can do it again," says Rossi. "Last year Gibernau set a fast pace and I tried 100% to follow him. Then I set the fastest lap three laps from the end, which at a track like Catalunya is amazing. Hopefully we can get this level of performance out of the bike and tyres again. Also I get a really good reception in Spain and it is always a pleasure to ride there.

"I am looking forward to this weekend because now I think we have finally arrived where we should be with the bike. It worked really well at the Mugello test and now I think we've really shown that we can fight at the front again and win. From a technical point of view, since the new chassis has been available we've been able to ride like in the past. Now we're very fast but it's still hard to win races! This championship is very balanced between Ducati and Honda and Yamaha and the other riders are at a great level so it was very important for us to win at Mugello. Now we have an eleven race championship and we have to be on the podium at every round."

Colin Edwards tackles the seventh round of the campaign in refreshed and determined mood following an indifferent run of early season results. The American has been hindered by a series of unfortunate incidents in recent races but the news that two units of the updated YZR-M1 chassis, which he tested with positive results at Mugello, will be at his disposal from the opening practice of the Spanish round has given him a vital boost.

"I've been run into the gravel for the last two rounds but we've come out of them both in the points so I have to use that as springboard to better things over the next few races," admits Edwards. "There is no use lamenting about what could have been – I have never done that and I won't start now. The positive thing to come out of Mugello was the performance of the new chassis and I'm really looking forward to adapting the setting even more at Barcelona. It's another fast circuit so hopefully the bike adapts quickly and we can be on the pace from the start."

Like Rossi, Edwards has positive memories of the Catalunya circuit thanks to his performance there in the official pre-season tests, when he drove home in a new car as a prize for setting the fastest time. "That seems a long time ago now but it's true that we went well there with an early version of this year's bike. We've made progress since then but the conditions will be very different so we'll have to wait and see."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2006, GRAN PREMI CINZANO DE CATALUNYA, Valentino Rossi

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