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Donington Press Conference draws five of the best

Donington Press Conference draws five of the best

The pre-event press conference for the Nickel & Dime British Grand Prix was a lively affair, with riders who hold a strong history at Donington Park addressing the media ahead of what promises to be a great weekend of unpredictable action.

The pre-event press conference for the Nickel & Dime British Grand Prix was a lively affair, with riders who hold a strong history at Donington Park addressing the media ahead of what promises to be a great weekend of unpredictable action.

Casey Stoner was first to face questioning, explaining how he started his career back in 2001 at the British track.

"There's a bit of history here with me; I've had good and bad races at Donington, but it isn't a particular favourite of mine," he said, before analysing what has been an incredible year so far for the Australian.

"No matter what happens from here on, I will be happy with what I've achieved this season."

A rider who took his maiden victory on British soil, and who regards the track as his ‘home from home', Valentino Rossi, was next up. The Italian has always had a strong following at the race where he has won seven times, and expressed his delight with the challenge presented by the track.

"The last part of the track, with the hairpin, is difficult, but the first is one of the best sections of the entire championship. Now we have to try and catch Casey here. At the beginning of the season he surprised me, because he always used to be a rider who was fast but made mistakes. Now he is still fast, but there are less errors. We will try though."

Anglo-American John Hopkins is the closest thing that British fans will have to a MotoGP rider in the premier class this weekend, and he expressed the belief that this race would be one of those in which the 990cc times would be demolished by the largest margin.

"I really enjoy Donington. I still have a house here, so the family are coming to watch me. Wet or dry, we'll be strong here, and I think that this track and Laguna Seca will be the two in which we really see the times from the old bikes brought down by the fast corner speed. Now I just have to knock the other three guys here today from the podium!" said the Suzuki rider.

Last year's winner Dani Pedrosa was as ever playing his cards close to his chest, simply stating that "the recent podiums have been a good sign. We will see about the weather here; I feel different about this race than last year."

Team Roberts owner Kenny Roberts Sr. has seen his plans for Donington change drastically in the past few days, with Jonathan Rea being withdrawn from his wild card spot, and Kenny Roberts Jr. being replaced by brother Kurtis for the next few races. The charismatic former World Champion gave his side to the story in today's press gathering.

"It was a shame that we couldn't work something out with Jonathan for this weekend," said the head of the Roberts clan, before showing some gallows humour when pressed about his younger son's withdrawal. "Things haven't been working out with him this year because the bike is too slow and he is too old," he added. "Kenny rides this bike like it was a 1000cc -which it isn't- but Kenny rides it more like a 600cc."

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

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