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Brivio highlights Rossi rivals for 2008

Brivio highlights Rossi rivals for 2008

Managing one side of the partitioned Fiat Yamaha garage in 2008, Davide Brivio has drawn up a shortlist of riders that he sees as title rivals for sole charge Valentino Rossi.

Managing one side of the partitioned Fiat Yamaha garage in 2008, Davide Brivio has drawn up a shortlist of riders that he sees as title rivals for sole charge Valentino Rossi. The Italian has named who he believes will be the five riders to feature at the forefront of any battle with the five-time MotoGP World Champion, although wary of the overall strength of this year's grid.

"As the holder of the World Championship crown, Casey Stoner will be our first rival," noted Brivio at the official Fiat Yamaha team presentation. "However, there are many other riders, all highly motivated and with reasons to be strongly committed to win, such as Dani Pedrosa and Nicky Hayden, Loris Capirossi and Marco Melandri on their new bikes and others that could surprise us. It's a very good group of riders and we will be trying to beat them all in our quest to win back the title!

Although both Rossi and Brivio are experienced hands in the factory Yamaha team, 2008 will be a season of vicissitude for the pairing due to a switch in tyre manufacturers. The latter in particular will be operating in a reshuffled structure within the team, who will juggle loyalties to both new rubber supplier Bridgestone and Michelin rider Jorge Lorenzo.

"This situation comes from the decision to change tyre brand and the consequence is that I am now concentrated solely on following just one rider, Valentino, and a smaller group of staff," explains Brivio of his new role.

"My job will be similar to before, but in a smaller area. The number of management staff across the team as a whole has increased; however, we will need to share as much as possible in the way of non-technical opinions and decisions between us, in order to maintain one common team line and strategy. The target will remain exactly the same, which is to fight for first place at every race."

Despite technical problems in 2007, Rossi has largely exculpated Yamaha for their part in his failure to regain the MotoGP title. However, nobody at the Japanese team is under any illusions that this year will be anything less than crucial as they look to both put Rossi in title contention and secure his services for another year on the strength of their performance.

"The motivation is very high and we all know that 2008 is an important year," notes the 28 year-old's boss. "Valentino will use a different tyre and this new challenge will give extra interest to our season inside and outside the team. The difficulties of last season have helped us to become stronger and these setbacks are a part of the sport. In 2008 we are restarting with a new challenge, new tyres and new young, strong competitors to fight with. It will be very interesting!

"We have to be ready by the first race! The team, the tyre engineers and Valentino have a huge amount of experience between them and we have the time to make ourselves ready. Luckily Qatar and Jerez, where we will have the 1st and 2nd races, will be circuits where we will have tested before the race. I hope it will help."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008, Fiat Yamaha Team

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