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Rossi race starts the focus for `second home´ Grand Prix

Rossi race starts the focus for `second home´ Grand Prix

Valentino Rossi is looking at improving his qualifying position and race start from Barcelona at one of his favourite circuits.

Valentino Rossi is perhaps an even more popular figure in Donington than local folkloric hero Robin Hood, the famous outlaw to whom he has paid tribute in the past with a `bow and arrow´ victory celebration. This year, in contrast to both the legend of Sherwood Forest and his own fortunes over the past two years, Rossi is no longer the underdog upon arrival on British soil.

One of Rossi´s most successful tracks, Donington Park is most notably the scene of his first ever MotoGP premier class victory eight years ago. Five World Championship titles later, he returns as the leader of the overall classification after a difficult two seasons.

`Without doubt, Donington is one of my favourite race tracks in the world and I have some fantastic memories of it, including of course my first 500cc win in 2000, when I had a fantastic battle with Jeremy McWilliams and Kenny Roberts Jr.,´ says the Fiat Yamaha star.

`It´s a track that has everything; it´s fast and flowing but also technical, although like most people I´m not so keen on the last section! Racing in the UK is also very special for me because for a long time I lived there and, even though now I live in Italy again, I would still like to think of it as a second home and I hope the fans will give me as much support as they always do.

`I was very disappointed to miss the podium last year because the Donington podium is something special, so I will be aiming to get back on it this year!´

Like Robin Hood, Rossi has plenty of foes standing in the way of his cause. His Team Manager Davide Brivio is refusing to write off any of his charge´s title rivals, with particular focus lent to second placed rider Dani Pedrosa.

`As far as the points situation is concerned Dani is looking like the most dangerous rival right now but Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner are still in the fight. Stoner is in fourth place but only 50 points behind and over eleven races that is not an impossible gap, so our target is to keep finishing on the podium,´ says Brivio.

`We also want to improve and when you look at Barcelona you can see we need to do this at the start of the race. On Friday and Saturday we didn´t find the best setting for the bike, which restricted our qualifying position, and even though the team did a good job overnight we suffered for it in the race. However, we gathered a lot of information at the test and tried out some solutions with the qualifying tyre so hopefully this can help us be even more competitive at Donington.´

MotoGP, 2008, BRITISH GRAND PRIX, Valentino Rossi, Fiat Yamaha Team

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