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Rossi acknowledges `added pressure´ of Misano spotlight

Rossi acknowledges `added pressure´ of Misano spotlight

With thousands of fans arriving in Misano with the expectation of a pouplar home victory, World Championship leader Valentino Rossi admits that there is added pressure on his shoulders this weekend.

The Gran Premio Cinzano di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini of 2007 was a big disappointment for Valentino Rossi, with `The Doctor´ unable to finish the race due to a technical fault with his Yamaha M1. Such disappointment for both rider and fans has only served to up expectations for this year´s visit to Misano, as the Italian admitted in the pre-event press conference on Thursday.

`It is very special here because I am so close to home and of course that means there is added pressure,´ acknowledged the Fiat Yamaha star. `I have had a lot more requests for tickets this time compared to last year at Misano as the situation in the championship is much better for me at present, so I hope I can put on a great show for all my fans here.´

Whereas last year Rossi was trailing eventual World Championship leader Casey Stoner in the standings, in 2008 the Italian is some 50 points clear of the Australian at the head of the classification.

`This year we arrive here in good shape after showing great speed in recent races. We have just had a good test in Brno where we found some good things for the bike, so the target now is to continue at this high level in the forthcoming races.´

Using last year´s DNF frustration as motivation for this weekend, the legendary Italian added, `Last year here was a big disappointment. We worked hard and put in the maximum effort, with things going well in the practices. We needed a good result, a podium. I started from the front row and I had good pace at the beginning, but after three laps my engine stopped. It was one of the most difficult times of my career so this year we have to make it better!´

MotoGP, 2008, GP CINZANO DI SAN MARINO E DELLA RIVIERA DI RIMINI, Valentino Rossi, Fiat Yamaha Team

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