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Rossi and rivals look ahead to Donington challenge

Rossi and rivals look ahead to Donington challenge

MotoGP standings leader Valentino Rossi was joined by title rivals Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner, former UK-based racer Chris Vermeulen and home rider James Toseland in the Donington press conference.

Three former MotoGP winners at Donington Park, and two hoping to make a big impact at the track in 2008, faced the media in Thursday afternoon´s press conference ahead of the British Grand Prix. As well as assessing their current World Championship, each also took time to explain their own individual links with the legendary circuit.

Valentino Rossi – Fiat Yamaha

`I like this circuit, because I have a lot of great memories from here, especially the first victory in 500cc, in the wet with a great battle against Jeremy McWilliams. That was a long time ago and there have been many good victories. There have also been some problems too, I remember one year I won the race but in the end I only got third place, because of overtaking on a yellow flag. I have bad memories from last year because it was a difficult Grand Prix and I was in just fourth place, missing out on the podium. The podium here is always a great emotion because of the crowd, so I want to be back on there this year.´

Dani Pedrosa – Repsol Honda

`I crashed on the Monday after Barcelona and there is still some pain so I have to test my condition on Friday because since the accident I have done zero activity. 2006 here was a great victory for me and also in 2004 in 250cc. Normally on this track things can be good or bad for me, so I hope this time it is good. Sometimes the weather is not so nice so we have practice first and we have to get the bike ready for any conditions.´

Casey Stoner – Ducati Marlboro

`On the first day of testing at Catalunya we tested the new GP9 bike, just to check we are happy with where it is going for next year. With Ducati being a small factory it would be hard to get that new bike out for this year. We then went back onto the GP8 and we´ve made some improvements to engine management to calm the bike down a bit. Last year here was a very difficult race because of the weather with the decision on tyres, but ours held up ok and things turned out pretty well. The circuit and I have never really got along that well although I have always been reasonably fast here. I don´t enjoy it that much but there are a couple of corners I like.´

James Toseland – Tech 3 Yamaha

`The build-up has been really busy but I am enjoying every minute of it. We are riding pretty well, I have adapted pretty well and the Yamaha is running really good this year. All the Yamaha riders are doing well and it is nice to see Jorge Lorenzo back here after the horrible crash he had in Catalunya. All four of us will be out there fighting to do well, we have had three on the podium at one point this year so we want to try and do that again.´

Chris Vermeulen – Rizla Suzuki

`It is my birthday today, so I am another year older! With regards to Donington, I came over to the UK in 2000 and did a couple of races here which I really enjoyed. I came back in 2006 in MotoGP and qualified on the front row and then last year I was on the podium so it´s a track I really like.´

MotoGP, 2008, BRITISH GRAND PRIX, Dani Pedrosa, Valentino Rossi, James Toseland, Chris Vermeulen, Casey Stoner

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