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Fiat Yamaha confident ahead of Spanish visit

Fiat Yamaha confident ahead of Spanish visit

The second round of the MotoGP World Championship welcomes the Fiat Yamaha Team to Europe next weekend with Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards looking to continue their strong start to the season at Jerez.

The second round of the MotoGP World Championship welcomes the Fiat Yamaha Team to Europe next weekend with Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards looking to continue their strong start to the season at Jerez. After starring in an intriguing curtain-raiser to the season in Qatar, where the pair dominated in practice only to see Casey Stoner (Ducati) storm to his debut victory in the race, the Italian and the American will be looking to use data from positive tests at the Spanish circuit just over three weeks ago to propel them to victory next Sunday.

Second place for Rossi in the desert dust of Doha leaves him lying second in the championship, five points behind the Australian youngster, whilst Edwards holds sixth place after suffering grip problems on the unpredictable Losail surface in the race. Both riders lapped well at Jerez in the final Official Test of the pre-season, when Rossi took the top spot in a televised ‘qualifying' session - smashing the pole record with a best lap of 1'38.394.

Rossi's record at Jerez in competitive action is unmatched, the 28-year-old having won there on six occasions riding five different types of motorcycle since his first appearance in the 125cc class in 1996. Edwards, meanwhile, had never ridden at the Spanish venue previous to his debut MotoGP appearance in 2003 and the Texan has enjoyed limited success at the circuit since then, his best finish coming with seventh spot in a wet race three seasons ago.

"I think Qatar showed that, although we have some areas to improve, our bike is working well and we won't be making the same mistakes as last year," said Rossi. "I'm feeling confident for Jerez, I think it will suit our bike very well, even better than Qatar, and we were very strong there in the test. We know we lack a bit of horsepower but I think this will improve race-by-race and Yamaha are working very hard. I don't expect it to be a big problem in Jerez as it's a different type of track".

"Jerez is one of my favourite circuits and I've had some great races there in the past so I hope this is another good year for me there. Qatar was very quiet, which was a good way to start the season because there were no distractions for me, but Jerez is always a great party with a fantastic atmosphere, so now I am really looking forward to that and I hope we can give the fans a good show. I expect that Pedrosa will be very fast here, as he was in the test, and I expect a big battle with him at his home race."

Despite his unexpected problems in the race at Losail, sixth place for Colin Edwards was still a decent points haul for the opening round and the Texan is confident of adding considerably to that tally at Jerez. The more predictable nature of the Spanish track conditions should allow the 33-year-old to fully exploit the excellent set-up work he completed there during pre-season testing and allow him to once again run at the top of the time sheets throughout the Grand Prix.

"I'm looking forward to Jerez, our bike worked pretty well there during the test and we made some good changes to it there so I am expecting to be running at the top again – just this time I hope to be able to do it in the race, too!" says Edwards. "Qatar was disappointing of course because we were so good all week and then the race didn't work out. It wasn't what we expected but we just have to learn from it and move on".

"Last year Jerez wasn't great for us, I got a good start but then got caught up in Valentino's crash and ran through the gravel at turn one but both he and I will be looking to avoid anything like that this year! We've got a good setting to start with in Jerez and we'll go from there. We know we need to work on a few things and I know Yamaha are working hard to improve our top speed a bit, but hopefully that won't be too much of an issue in Jerez".

Fiat Yamaha Press Release

MotoGP, 2007, GRAN PREMIO DE ESPAÑA, Fiat Yamaha Team

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