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Rossi predicting tough race at ‘home from home'

Rossi predicting tough race at ‘home from home'

Fitting of their positions as the first and third placed riders in the 2007 standings, five-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi has identified Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa as his toughest rivals for this weekend's Nickel & Dime British Grand Prix.

Fitting of their positions as the first and third placed riders in the 2007 standings, five-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi has identified Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa as his toughest rivals for this weekend's Nickel & Dime British Grand Prix. The Italian had a tough time en route to second place last year, still tender from a crash at the previous race in Assen, but is at full strength for round eight of the 2007 season.

"This year though it's going to be really hard of course with Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa riding so well at the moment," says a wary Rossi. " Even though it hasn't been one of his best tracks in the past I am expecting Casey to be strong again and Dani won last year so we can expect him to be fighting too. Anyway, it's a great track, fun to ride, the straight is not too long and the fans there are wonderful, so I hope we can win again!

Donington is always like my second home race because I live quite close, in London," says ‘The Doctor', who has been a resident in the English capital since the turn of the millenium. "It's one of my favourite racetracks in the world and I've had some fantastic victories there in the past, including my first ever 500cc win back in 2000 after a great battle with Jeremy McWilliams and Kenny Roberts. Last year I had a bad injury after my problem in Assen but I was still able to finish second, which was a great achievement I think."

After a positive start to the year, Colin Edwards has had a dip in form over the past few races. The American is not getting downhearted about a string of lower-than-expected finishes, and believes that Donington could be the race to turn his season back around in the run up to his home Grand Prix at Laguna Seca.

"I had a lot bigger aspirations for this season than my recent results have shown," concedes Edwards. "After our first few tests and first few races I thought we would be consistently in the top five, but unfortunately that hasn't been the case recently so it's a bit discouraging. At the same tim e I think you have to bring the positives out of every weekend and learn what you can. I think with Donington coming up we have the chance to turn things around; it's a track that I've always liked - I've won a few races there, stemming back from my World Superbike days.

"I've got nothing but high hopes going there - I know the track like the back of my hand so I'm staying positive. As far as I am concerned, the rest of my year involves winning some races. Winning races was my goal in March and it's still my goal now and, despite the last few races, I know we can do it. I think the next two races at Donington and Assen are prime opportunities."

"Donington has been a great track for both our riders in the past so we go there with high hopes," says Team Manager Davide Brivio. "Unfortunately Valentino's great record was blighted last year because of the injury he picked up at Assen so we want to make up for that and get him back to the top of the podium, but it won't be easy. Our rivals are very strong this season and we go to each circuit looking to work hard, be competitive in every session and then see what happens on Sunday.

"We had a good tyre test in Barcelona after the race, with Andrew Pitt also completing a lot of laps and giving us some valuable data. I think we will take some of the new tyres to Donington and hopefully they will help us take a step forward. At this high level of competition it is all about taking small steps, which can make the difference between victory and defeat. We are not even halfway through the season yet so there is a long way to go and we will keep fighting."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, NICKEL & DIME BRITISH GRAND PRIX, Valentino Rossi

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