New to motogp.com?Register here

Tickets purchase
VideoPass purchase

Rossi ready for new challenge of 2008 season

Rossi ready for new challenge of 2008 season

As the countdown to the 2008 season approaches zero hour in Qatar, Valentino Rossi cuts a tranquil figure ahead of what he hopes is a year of resurrection in MotoGP.

As the countdown to the 2008 season approaches zero hour in Qatar, Valentino Rossi cuts a tranquil figure ahead of what he hopes is a year of resurrection in MotoGP.

The five-time MotoGP World Champion arrives at the first ever night Grand Prix after a barren pair of campaigns in 2006 and 2007, with the desire to step out of the shadow cast by current title holder and dominant figure Casey Stoner and reassert his control over the premier class, but has on his side the confidence of a man with a wealth of experience in facing adversity.

About the night race; after the last test I am quite relaxed about this. I think they have done an excellent job with the lights and its really true that you can ride just the same as you can by day, muses Rossi, one of the most analytical riders on the grid well versed in circuit assessment due to his role in the Riders Safety Commission.

The biggest problem is of course the temperature, because its very cold by night and this makes our work, especially with the tyres, much harder. Generally Im very happy and excited that we have finally reached the first race.

Having conceded the 2007 world title before the final race of the season, things took a further sour turn when he crashed in qualifying for the ultimate showdown in Valencia, conceding the second place spot in the standings to Dani Pedrosa after retiring from the race. Starting on level pegging once more, Rossi has had a winter of tests and contemplation to prepare for 2008, and to adapt to a switch to Bridgestone tyres.

Its been a long time since Valencia and I am definitely ready to start a new challenge. Yamaha have worked very hard over the winter and our new bike is very good; of course there are some things still to work on and we did have some issues to contend with at the last test, but I am confident that we are in good shape overall, fires the Italian in a warning to his rivals.

I am very happy with my tyres as well and now I just want to get started. We have a big task ahead of us but I know that my team and everyone at Yamaha are up to the job.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008, Commercialbank GRAND PRIX OF QATAR, Valentino Rossi, Fiat Yamaha Team

Other updates you may be interested in ›