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Rossi and Edwards aiming to bounce back in China

Rossi and Edwards aiming to bounce back in China

Fiat Yamaha head to China on the back of a disappointing Grand Prix of Turkey, looking to reassert themselves at a track where they have experienced mixed fortunes in the two previous races.

Fiat Yamaha head to China on the back of a disappointing Grand Prix of Turkey, looking to reassert themselves at a track where they have experienced mixed fortunes in the two previous races. Valentino Rossi has tasted victory at Shanghai International, but last year was forced to retire after suffering tyre problems. Team-mate Colin Edwards had his best result of 2006 on Chinese soil, taking his only podium finish of the season.

Although Rossi has had problems with his Michelin tyres at both last year's race and the most recent round in Turkey, he is confident that the manufacturer can avoid another setback in Shanghai.

"We had a bad result in Turkey which we weren't expecting after being on pole, but Michelin have been working very hard to understand what went wrong and to ensure that it won't happen again," says the Italian. "We had a good test on the post-race Monday and tried a lot of new tyre combinations with China in mind, so we are going there with some ideas about what we think will work. Now it's a case of making what is hopefully the right tyre choice and then seeing how things go on Friday morning.

"Last year we had a big problem in China and I couldn't finish the race, but in 2005 I had a great victory there in the wet so I have some nice memories of this track as well as some bad ones! We know it's not ideal for our bike and maybe they're going to have to split the main straight in two - one part for Ducati and one part for the rest of us! Joking aside though, it's a very long straight and we know that we're going to lack some top speed on it but the new engine modifications we had in Turkey worked well and there's a good improvement, so hopefully it won't be too serious. We're second in the championship and we've lost a few points so we need to aim for a podium to get back on track."

For Edwards, a DNF in Turkey was a hard pill to swallow. The American was a likely challenger for a top three finish to continue a positive start to the season, but was involved in a first lap crash which forced him to retire for only the second time for the factory Yamaha outfit. Although he injured his knee in the collision, the ‘Texan Tornado' should be back to 100% for the first practice session in China.

"Turkey was a real shame because I felt I could have challenged for a podium, but that's racing and there's no point getting angry and stewing over it," reflects Edwards. "I didn't test on Monday because my knee was pretty painful but a few days resting up at home has helped a lot and it's feeling a lot better. After starting the season pretty well it was disappointing to have such a bad time in Turkey for the team but that's our ‘bogey' circuit and now we're looking forward to punching back in China!

"Shanghai last year was good for me and I ended up on the podium and of course I'm aiming to repeat that with improvement this year! We know it's going to be a tricky track for us with the long straight but hopefully we can make it up on the other parts of the track. Again the tyres are going to be a big factor but Valentino and Michelin worked seriously hard on Monday in Turkey, while I was chair-bound, and I think they've got some good plans about what's going to work."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, SINOPEC GREAT WALL LUBRICANTS GRAND PRIX OF CHINA, Colin Edwards, Valentino Rossi

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