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Score to settle and podium record to take for Rossi at Le Mans

Score to settle and podium record to take for Rossi at Le Mans

Fiat Yamaha's Valentino Rossi is eyeing up victory at the Alice Grand Prix de France, which takes place this Sunday, and has the chance to right the wrongs from last year when he had the French race all but wrapped up.

Fiat Yamaha's Valentino Rossi is eyeing up victory at the Alice Grand Prix de France, which takes place this Sunday, and has the chance to right the wrongs from last year when he had the French race all but wrapped up.

This time last year, the five times MotoGP World Champion was in the midst of something of a crisis, having lost ground in the championship due to a series of unfortunate incidents. The Italian has since gone some way towards avenging his misfortune at both Jerez and China, and this weekend receives the opportunity to do the same at Le Mans.

"I definitely have a score to settle at Le Mans after what happened last year, when I should have won the race!" says Rossi. "Anyway, everything is different now and I'm very determined and looking forward to this next race. Our Yamaha has always gone well there and until the problem of last year it was really flying. I'm very happy to go back to Europe and this next run of races is over some of my favourite tracks, where I know I'm always strong. It's a very busy time with seven races in just over two months but it's also a key part of the championship and I'm ready to race at 100%."

"China was encouraging for us because our bike worked perfectly in qualifying and then also in the race, when we expected more problems. I think our bike is very, very good and although we lack a little bit of top speed this won't be such a problem at the next few circuits as it was in China. I think we're in good shape."

‘The Doctor' could also rewrite the history books if he earns his fifth premier class podium at the historic French circuit. Rossi's second place in China placed him just one rostrum finish behind Mick Doohan in the all-time MotoGP podium chart. If the Fiat Yamaha rider were to place in the top three this weekend, he would become the new record holder by virtue of his higher number of wins.

Team-mate Colin Edwards is likely to be equally up for the challenge of Le Mans, coming off the back of two disappointments in the previous pair of rounds. The 'Texan Tornado' failed to finish a race for only the second time in Yamaha factory colours in Turkey, and then suffered tyre problems in China. He will be hoping that Michelin - with pride at stake due to their ‘French connection' - will have something special lined up to avoid the Bridgestone dominance of recent races and Edwards' own personal misfortune.

"China was really gutting for me - after the way my bike worked on Saturday for qualifying I really had my hopes up and it was devastating not to be able to fulfil my potential", says Edwards. "I honestly believe our bike is the best one out there and now I just want to get to Le Mans and prove it! We know we go well there so I'm really hoping I can get back on the podium. We didn't have the right tyre in China but Le Mans is ‘home ground' for Michelin and we've done a lot of testing there over the last couple of years, which will hopefully help."

"This is always the busiest and most intense part of the season with no time to rest and building up to what is the biggest race of the year for me in Laguna Seca. My target is to arrive there with several podiums under my belt and in a strong position in the championship!"

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, ALICE GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE, Valentino Rossi

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