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Front row position gives Rossi chance to excite crowd

Front row position gives Rossi chance to excite crowd

Valentino Rossi will attempt to strengthen his World Championship chances and excite his thousands of fans at Misano on Sunday, getting away from the front row of the grid.

Ready to put the demons of his 2007 Misano visit squarely behind him at the Gran Premio Cinzano di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, five-time MotoGP World Champion and local hero Valentino Rossi will get away from second on the grid, just behind pole man Casey Stoner on Sunday.

The Italian rider was happy with his qualifying performance when he spoke to on Saturday afternoon, but admitted he is still looking for a few more tenths before tomorrow´s 28-lap race.

`The lap was good but unfortunately Stoner in recent races has been incredibly fast and today he was again a little bit faster than us. But I am happy with the second place, because the front row is always great for starting. We are not at the maximum on race tyres. We have to make a change to the setting, we have to improve on Sunday. We have a lot of data and we need to try and be faster for the race,´ declared Rossi.

The 29-year-old, who lives just 15km away in Tavullia, was made mayor of the small Italian town for the day, at a special local council meeting held at the circuit on Saturday - and he will receive massive support from the grandstands around the Misano track on Sunday afternoon.

He joked, `Well I am very famous in Tavullia! All the people know me so I think a lot of them voted for me as mayor! This is really my home Grand Prix because I live so close.´

Having seen his Fiat Yamaha charge slot his M1 onto the front row for the eighth time this season, team manager Davide Brivio, meanwhile, commented, `Well we have reached our main target because it is so important to start from the first row. We tried for pole position but Casey was very fast today.´

On the last minute tweaks the team will be making to Rossi´s race package Brivio also stated, `We will try to catch up with Casey in the warm-up by making a few little changes because he is faster in some parts of the track. We can adjust the suspension to help Valentino on corners and with the electronics we can improve the engine performance, to get a bit more acceleration.´

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

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