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Pedrosa and Rossi ready for tough battle

Pedrosa and Rossi ready for tough battle

The current MotoGP World Championship leader Dani Pedrosa and last year´s Estoril race winner, Valentino Rossi, were looking forward to a challenging weekend when they addressed the media at Thursday´s pre-bwin.com Grande Premio de Portugal press conference.

The current MotoGP World Championship leader Dani Pedrosa and last year´s Estoril race winner, Valentino Rossi, were looking forward to a challenging weekend when they addressed the media at Thursday´s pre-bwin.com Grande Premio de Portugal press conference.

Pedrosa took maximum points ahead of Rossi last time out in Jerez, preventing the Italian from breaking a winless streak which stretches back to the last World Championship visit to Portuguese shores, in September 2007.

Last year´s contest between the pair saw Fiat Yamaha´s Rossi extend his fantastic record at Estoril, where he has never finished off the podium, taking victory following a race-long battle with Pedrosa - who had never previously stepped onto the rostrum in Portugal.

At the press conference also attended by Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki), James Toseland (Tech 3 Yamaha) and Ducati´s MotoGP Project Director Livio Suppo, Pedrosa commented, `Things went very well in the last race, so we will see this weekend. We tested for two days after the race in Jerez and things went more or less ok, so we hope to improve our bike a little bit more. We have to see if the conditions are ok this weekend and see whether we can make progress.´

`It looks like the forecast is not very clear,´ continued Pedrosa, `so for sure it will be difficult to judge the temperature, the tyres and the wind, but anyway we will try to do our best! Last year was my first podium here which was a good result for me and I was fighting all the way through the race. We hope to improve that result this year and we will be aiming for the podium anyway.´

Adding his views ahead of round three, Rossi stated, `I like this circuit. It is an old style track and difficult, very technical. You go up and down a lot and the surface is not perfect, with some bumps, but you have to control the bike. Also the weather is a factor because it could rain and the wind is strong so it will be a difficult weekend.´

Rossi revealed his current frame of mind, saying, `We come here after a good result in Jerez. I wasn´t worried after Qatar because I knew we had good potential and even though I didn´t win in Jerez it was a good result, so we have to keep trying to go in that direction.´

Concluding with a summary of how he views the MotoGP class as a whole in 2008, Rossi noted, `I´m very happy and it looks like the situation this year is more balanced. At the moment I am third in the championship, ten points off the lead. There are a lot of good riders and we are in front but I expect a good fight from the second group to try and catch us.´

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008, bwin.com GRANDE PREMIO DE PORTUGAL, Dani Pedrosa, Valentino Rossi

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