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Rossi reflects on historical achievements at Indianapolis

Rossi reflects on historical achievements at Indianapolis

World Championship history was made on a rainy afternoon at the first ever Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix, as Valentino Rossi´s 69th MotoGP win made him the most successful premier class rider of all-time.

The end of a special weekend in Grand Prix racing saw the MotoGP contest cut short by the weather at the new Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but Valentino Rossi wrote his name into the history books by completing a hat-trick of hat trick of pole position, fastest lap and race victory at the iconic American venue.

When Hurricane Ike and the resultant red-flag ended the race on lap 20 of 28 Rossi simultaneously became the first ever MotoGP winner at the Brickyard and the most successful premier class rider of all-time – his 69th MotoGP victory taking him ahead of his fellow countryman Giacomo Agostini at the top of the all-time victors list and breaking a record which has stood for more than 30 years.

Rossi lost ground early in the race, which was run on a very wet track and had to pass the likes of Casey Stoner, Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso, before chasing down early leader Nicky Hayden at his home GP.

With race direction sensibly cutting the race short with eight laps to go, Rossi had secured maximum points with his fourth consecutive win, inching ever closer to his sixth MotoGP title. The Italian star is now 87 points clear of World Champion Stoner, whose crown he can snatch at the next round in Motegi by finishing fourth or above.

`It was, very, very difficult and it was a pity it ended early because earlier on it was a normal race,´ commented Rossi. `They did a great job on the track, clearing the water beforehand, so it was possible to ride at quite a good speed and with quite a good lean angle. At the beginning it was quite scary, but anyway, it was a good race, a good battle. I tried to get ahead and every lap I was waiting for the red flag. After it arrived I thought it was the right decision, because like that it was too dangerous.´

On his spectacular wobble shortly before the race was curtailed, Rossi added, `If you make one mistake the race is over, so I was trying to understand the limit. The wind started to get very strong, I did a wheelie coming out of turn nine, went a bit wide, crossed the white line and lost control of the bike. So I was quite lucky.´

Looking ahead to the last four races of the year and contemplating his excellent prospects of winning back the title for the first time in three years, the Fiat Yamaha rider stated, `Now we have 87-point advantage, and we have the first match point in Motegi in two weeks. In 2005, I had the match point in Motegi for the championship, but unfortunately I make a mistake. So I have a bad memory of this. Also we lost the championship last year at Motegi, so it is a good opportunity and we will try our best.´

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

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