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GMC Australian Grand Prix Press Conference

GMC Australian Grand Prix Press Conference

GMC Australian Grand Prix Press Conference

There were three local riders present at the customary pre-event press conference, as Chris Vermeulen, Casey Stoner and Anthony West spoke about the track and their season's so far. Championship leader Nicky Hayden and reigning World Champion Valentino Rossi, winner of the last five races at Phillip Island, also gave their thoughts on the head to head title battle in which they are involved.

Nicky Hayden

Malaysia wasn't so good for me, but looking back I was 23 seconds faster than last year so at least I can say I've improved at the track. I'm hoping to "stop the bleeding" here, as I love the track and the atmosphere. I've always had good races and results in Australia, it's just a question of remembering where Valentino was faster than me last year at the track. He certainly rode smarter than me in 2005.

Valentino Rossi

I love the track and the place in general. The last five years I have been fortunate enough to win the MotoGP race here. I know that Nicky goes quick here, I believe he took his first podium at the track. However, the M1 always goes fast in Phillip Island and we just need to focus on that. Qualifying and practice will be the key to this weekend's race.

Casey Stoner

It's my favourite track, I've seen all my heroes race here and now I get the chance to do the same on a MotoGP bike. The track is a little too open for the 125cc bikes, where you get too much corner speed and it's a little scary, but for the 990cc it is perfect.

Chris Vermeulen

Last year was my MotoGP debut here, and it was a great weekend. Watching Doohan and Gardner here back in the 80s and 90s and now getting to hopefully have a race like that this weekend is a dream come true. MotoGP is so different to any other class I've raced in here, and as it is earlier on in the year than usual I'm hoping that it will be a dry one.

Anthony West

I'm just waiting for the chance that these other Aussie riders have had to ride in the premier class. The team I'm with now have been under a bit of stress when the bike hasn't been going well, although when it's on form I'm a regular top ten rider when I shouldn't be anywhere near that on the bike. I never give up and I never will, so I just work as hard as I can. I'm sure my opportunity will arrive, I thought I'd get a Honda ride this year but I'm beating the guy that they gave the bike too so I'm happy with that.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2006, GMC AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX

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