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Rossi emphasises importance of front row for Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix

Rossi emphasises importance of front row for Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix

Predicting another strong performance from Casey Stoner this weekend, Valentino Rossi wants to start from the front in order to prevent another escape from the Australian.

MotoGP World Championship leader Valentino Rossi has the all-important advantage heading to the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, but knows all-too-well that there is room for improvement at the American circuit. In his three races to date at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Rossi has been on the podium just once (at his first race at the circuit in 2005) and has been cursed by bike and tyre problems over the past two years.

The five-time MotoGP World Champion has not had too much difficulty with either his bike or new Bridgestone rubber since the start of the season –a positive sign as he aims to break his Laguna Seca duck. However, the Italian has been concerned at some of his qualifying performances, having started from the front row at just 50% of the ten races to date in the 2008 season.

`We are going there with the same package that we had in Germany and so we´re going to have to work very hard to close the gap in performance to Stoner; we can´t afford to start from anywhere except the front because, with him in this form, it is then very hard to catch him,´says Rossi in the run-up to this weekend´s Grand Prix, having been unable to catch Stoner at the last three races despite fearsome race pace.

`Laguna hasn´t been one of my favourite tracks in the three years since we´ve been going there and it´s one of the only ones on the calendar where I haven't won. We´re aiming to win this week, that's for sure!

`It´s been a hard track for our bike but it´s been a very good track for Bridgestone and I am confident that our package will work very well there. The last two years I´ve had serious disappointments in the race and it´s been one of the low points of both seasons, I hope I have had all the bad luck I´m going to have there and that this year I can enjoy myself!´ says the Fiat Yamaha rider, the winner of three races already this term.

`California is a great place and this year we will be doing all we can to leave it with good memories, not bad ones!´

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008, RED BULL U.S. GRAND PRIX, Valentino Rossi, Fiat Yamaha Team

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