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Rossi prepares for Mugello homecoming

Rossi prepares for Mugello homecoming

If Valentino Rossi is looking for any track at which to make up points in the gap between himself and Casey Stoner, then he could do a lot worse than Mugello.

If Valentino Rossi is looking for any track at which to make up points in the gap between himself and Casey Stoner, then he could do a lot worse than Mugello. ‘The Doctor' has won the last five MotoGP races at the Italian track, and also holds wins in both 250cc and 125cc to back up his mastery of the circuit.

Currently lying second in the World Championship, Rossi was one of the riders adversely affected by the rain at Le Mans last time out, eventually finishing sixth at the drenched French track. A post-race test saw him trying out new parts for his Yamaha M1, and looking for solutions to his tyre problems.

"We hoped that Le Mans would be a place where we might have been able to win back some points on Stoner, but unfortunately the weather played against us," says Rossi, who trails the Australian by 21 points. "We stayed in France for two days of testing and we made a lot of progress, especially with the tyres. We also tried some new engine modifications, just small details, wh ich we think will help us in Mugello.

"As everyone knows I have a very special relationship with Mugello. I have won there many times, including the last three years with Yamaha, and I've had some of the greatest races of my life there. Even though I will have a second home race this year at Misano, Mugello is something incredible and the fans and atmosphere there are always unbelievable. It's a fantastic track but of course the straight is very long and we know we're going to have a very hard battle on our hands. At least we can rely on the weather... I hope!"

For team-mate Colin Edwards, Le Mans was also a race to forget. After taking his first MotoGP pole on Saturday afternoon, the ‘Texan Tornado' slumped down the order in the first lap as a result of a bad tyre choice. Mugello comes as a chance for redemption, although it is traditionally one of Edwards' worst tracks.

"Mugello hasn't been one of my best GP tracks and I've never had a really great race there, but we're aiming to turn that around this time," affirms Edwards. "Le Mans was a massive disappointment for everyone, especially after getting pole, but it was good to get back to work straight away and try to find out why it happened instead of sitting stewing over it for ten days. We know our bike is working brilliantly when we get everything right - qualifying is proving that at every race - but we really need to translate that to race conditions and to do this we need to make the most of every minute of practice.

"Mugello is an incredible place and the Italian fans are completely crazy, in a good way! The countryside is beautiful and you can't help but be inspired by the atmosphere. This is really crunch time now - six races in eight weeks with the first being Valentino's home race and the last, in the US, being mine. Let's hope we can kick the run off to a good start with a double podium in Mugello, finish it off in the same way at Laguna and try to do the same thing at all the ones in between too!"

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA ALICE, Valentino Rossi

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