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No pressure for Rossi ahead of potential title decider

No pressure for Rossi ahead of potential title decider

87 points clear in the MotoGP standings and with the chance to seal the title this weekend, Valentino Rossi can afford to be relaxed ahead of the A-Style Grand Prix of Japan.

As has been the case for the last eight seasons, Valentino Rossi is one of the protagonists of what could be the final fight of the year for the MotoGP World Championship. In a stark contrast to the previous two years, however, in 2008 it is the Italian who is firmly in the driving seat, needing at the most a third place finish to take his sixth MotoGP title.

For the past two years Rossi has seen ‘his' World Championship confirmed from afar. In 2006 he suffered an early crash at Valencia as Nicky Hayden took the crown, whilst last year he finished thirteenth on the occasion of Casey Stoner´s arrival at the peak of 800cc competition. The series now returns to the scene of the latter event, Twin Ring Motegi in Japan, with the tables well and truly turned –and as a result Rossi is feeling far from pressured.

`We have had a fantastic run of races and now here we are finally, with a `match point´ for the championship, and in Motegi once again!´ says Rossi, the irony of the situation not lost on the Fiat Yamaha rider.

`In 2005 I was in the same situation but I crashed and had to wait for Malaysia to win the title, and then last year we lost the championship in Japan. I really would like to win in Motegi, especially as it´s such an important race for Yamaha and it would be a great reward for them for all of the work they have done.´

Rossi has never won a four-stroke race at Motegi, the track having become something of a bogey circuit for him. However, his current form of four wins on the bounce, second place at four of the last six events at the Japanese circuit since his 500cc triumph in 2001 and without the necessity of victory, there is not too much concern emanating from the Rossi camp.

`We cannot put too much pressure on ourselves and I will try to treat it like another normal race. We have a good margin of points, but there are still four more races so it is still not over! Everyone is very relaxed and focused, my Bridgestone tyres and my M1 are working very well and hopefully we can have another great weekend in Motegi,´ says the title aspirant, who has previously clinched the highest accolade in motorcycle racing in Brazil (2001, 2002), Malaysia (2003, 2005) and Australia (2004).

MotoGP, 2008, A-STYLE GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN, Valentino Rossi, Fiat Yamaha Team

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