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Stoner holds advantage in Rossi duels

Stoner holds advantage in Rossi duels

The fourth victory of the 2007 season for Ducati Marlboros Casey Stoner at Catalunya gave his World Championship title hopes another boost and came as a result of another head-to-head triumph over Fiat Yamahas Valentino Rossi.

The fourth victory of his MotoGP career and the fourth of the 2007 season for Ducati Marlboros Casey Stoner, at the Gran Premi Cinzano de Catalunya, gave his World Championship title hopes another boost and came as a result of another triumph in a head-to-head battle with Fiat Yamahas Valentino Rossi.

Over the years a number of riders have tried and failed to dislodge Rossis crown as the undisputed king of MotoGP and although Nicky Hayden took the World Championship last season there were few one-on-one battles between the pair.

However, in 2007 Stoner and Rossi appear to be involved in a direct fight for the MotoGP title - with Haydens Repsol Honda colleague Dani Pedrosa emerging as the other main candidate.

Having lost out on Rossis home territory in Mugello, Stoner proved again at Barcelonas Montmelo track where Rossi has a pedigree almost as strong as his record on home soil that with the awesome Desmosedici GP07 at his disposal he is more than capable off fending off The Doctor when the two square up.

The Barcelona win is the third time Stoner has beaten Rossi in a straight fight this season, on the back of similar performances in Qatar and China.

In the season opening race at Losail Stoner took his first MotoGP win from second on the grid, duelling with pole-man Rossi for several laps before forcing the Italian into a mistake late in the contest and eventually crossing the line 2.838s ahead of his rival.

Two months later in Shanghai Stoner came from fourth on the grid to take maximum points using the longest straight on the MotoGP calendar to his advantage on the powerful 800cc Ducati to win by just over three seconds, leaving Rossi helpless in second position after another pole start.

Another head-to-head win on Sunday afternoon in superb contest in front of an enthralled 110,000 plus Catalan crowd is another crucial step for Stoner as the rapid-fire series of European Grands Prix continues.

It was the perfect way for Stoner to bounce back after finishing off the podium at Mugello extending his World Championship lead to 14 points and setting up another mouth watering prospect for the next round of the season at Donington Park on 24th June.

MotoGP, 2007, GRAN PREMI CINZANO DE CATALUNYA, Valentino Rossi, Casey Stoner

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