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Rossi: `To stop Stoner, you´d have to shoot him´

Rossi: `To stop Stoner, you´d have to shoot him´

Valentino Rossi´s best efforts in Laguna Seca were not enough to deny Casey Stoner a fifth consecutive pole position, although the Italian will start the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix from the front row.

At times the performances of MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner have left his rivals with little option but to laugh so as not to cry, with a recent run of three victories and five pole positions on the bounce showing the Australian´s quality for all to see. A rider more used to dishing out the punishment than receiving it, Valentino Rossi was tasked with seeing the funny side of his nemesis´ dominance in qualifying for the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix.

`To stop Stoner, you´d have to shoot him,´ said Rossi when asked by Spanish television channel TVE as to how he could beat the Ducati Marlboro man in Sunday´s race.

Rossi did, however place on the front row for the Laguna Seca showdown, having identified a top grid position as a must in the run-up to this weekend´s race. His pace may have been consistent mid-1´22 laps rather than the daunting mid-1´21´s recorded by Stoner, but he remained confident of at the very least a positive result to take him into the summer break as the World Championship leader.

`Second is a good position to start from tomorrow. We have had one or two small problems that perhaps it will be possible to fix when we do a few small modifications. Our race pace isn´t so bad,´ noted the Fiat Yamaha rider.

Whilst Rossi would probably not be permitted by the FIM to take weaponry onto the grid, he did have another tongue-in-cheek scheme up his sleeve in order to be the quickest on the draw on Sunday; when questioned in the immediate live international press feed as to whether he had a plan for victory over Stoner, the five-time MotoGP World Champion quickly replied:

`Yes. Start 30 seconds earlier than him.´

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

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