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Unfinished business for Rossi and Fiat Yamaha at Le Mans

Unfinished business for Rossi and Fiat Yamaha at Le Mans

Fiat Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi arrives in France on a roll, with the intention of adding to his win haul and putting some ghosts to rest.

Valentino Rossi´s victory in China has put him right back into the World Championship mix, at just nine points behind leader Dani Pedrosa and on a positive run of form. Entering the Eurocentric seven-race miniseries stage of the season that has traditionally been his most prolific in terms of points, the Italian and Team Manager Davide Brivio feel that Le Mans will once again be the start of a crucial section of the year.

`China was a very important boost for everyone and a great result for all the hard work that everyone has put in so far this season to get us to this point, and now we have to make the most of this moment and keep pushing like this,´ says Rossi, who ended a long winless streak with his Shanghai masterclass.

The 29 year-old has had two victories in the premier class at the Le Mans circuit, although the last two years have diverted from the script. Last year saw rain turn the race on its head, whilst in 2006 Rossi suffered one of the lowest points of his career when a tyre problem ended his race when comfortably heading for victory. Riding with Bridgestone at Michelin´s `home track´ for the first time, a repeat of the all-Japanese rubber top three from 2007 with the addition of Rossi on the top step of the podium would aid the Fiat Yamaha rider´s cause no end.

`Yamaha usually goes very well at Le Mans and, although it´s obviously the first time we´ve been there with Bridgestone, I am confident that we will be strong there. We are nine points from the top of the championship but our rivals are very motivated too so there is no let-up and we must go for the maximum points again.´

`Last year Le Mans was incredibly disappointing for us - we were hoping for a good result in the dry but the rain came and things didn´t go as planned. This year however we´re going there on a real high after the fantastic result in China and I am confident that we can have a good weekend,´ concludes the five-time MotoGP World Champion.

The Rossi Shanghai show also brought a smile to the face of Davide Brivio, a man who knows full well that a happy and winning Italian star provides an infectious atmosphere of assurance in the garage.

`Le Mans is the start to a very busy period for the championship but on the evidence of the race in China we are ready! Shanghai was a very important race for us because it showed how much progress we have made since Qatar. The engineers did a great job, Valentino was incredible and that has given us all a big boost in confidence and motivation,´ states Brivio.

`We all feel positive it can be us and we can't wait to fight for it. In 2006 we almost won at Le Mans but for a technical problem and last year we were denied by the rain so we feel we have unfinished business there and we look forward to fighting again.´

If Rossi manages to achieve his second victory in as many races, he will equal Angel Nieto´s marker of 90 Grand Prix wins.

MotoGP, 2008, ALICE GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE, Valentino Rossi, Fiat Yamaha Team

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