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Rossi loves New York after first visit to `The Big Apple´

Rossi loves New York after first visit to `The Big Apple´

Valentino Rossi was soaking up the atmosphere in New York this week, and was instantly smitten with the U.S. city.

`Start spreading the news...´ the MotoGP World Championship leader arrived in New York earlier this week in a stopover before the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix, Valentino Rossi checking out `The Big Apple´ and briefing the U.S. media on what they can expect from this weekend´s historic race.

The Italian had a few pending engagements at the famous city, including a visit to the ESPN offices and seeing off DJ Albertino, whose own journey to The Brickyard this weekend should be something of a challenge. Rossi´s fellow countryman and radio presenter had been set the task of delivering a Yamaha M1 from New York to Indianapolis, onboard a 1963 Fiat 500. It is safe to say that the five-time MotoGP World Champion will have had a somewhat smoother journey to the scene of the latest round.

Speaking Stateside, the Fiat Yamaha rider was full of enthusiasm for the city, having never sampled the delights of the East Coast before.

`It´s a fantastic place, unfortunately at 29 years old I have never visited New York before, and I missed a lot of time because it is a great city,´ said Rossi, who could enjoy a respite from the fanaticism that follows him on his days off in Europe.

`We´ve been doing some interviews and things like that, but we´ve had some free time to see the city. We´re here in the centre of Times Square and nobody knows me, so that´s fun and a new feeling for me.´

With the chance to move one step closer to a sixth premier class title on Sunday -and with MotoGP attracting major interest ahead of the inaugural Indianapolis round- how low-profile Rossi will be on his next excursion to New York remains to be seen. Victory at the famous circuit would grab the headlines for the Italian, and also see him overtake Giacomo Agostini´s record number of premier class victories with a 69th triumph.

`I spoke to Giacomo after Misano (where Rossi won race number 68 of his MotoGP career) and he was quite happy. Not VERY happy because, as he asked me; `are YOU happy when you lose?!´ and I had to agree with him! Equalling his record is incredible for me, and now we´ll try to beat him.´

Rossi has won the last three rounds of the MotoGP World Championship, beginning with the most recent American event, the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix.

MotoGP, 2008, RED BULL INDIANAPOLIS GRAND PRIX, Valentino Rossi, Fiat Yamaha Team

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