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Personal favourite up next for Rossi

Personal favourite up next for Rossi

Valentino Rossi heads to Phillip Island for the Iveco Australian Grand Prix this weekend with a renewed determination in the race for this year’s MotoGP World Championship title.

Reigning MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi suffered rear-grip problems in his last outing at Estoril, which resulted in a fourth-placed finish in the Grande Premio de Portugal – a classification which saw the Italian’s lead in the title standings over Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo cut down to 18 points, with three races remaining.

After assessing the issues which blighted his last race, both the rider and his team are now focused on the challenge that Phillip Island presents.

It is a track which Rossi holds close to his heart, as his 2001 and 2004 World titles were won there, and the 30 year-old is aiming to secure his first race win since 2005 at the Australian circuit as the 2009 season nears its denouement.

“Estoril was a great disappointment but we have to look at the positives and consider that we still came fourth and took 13 points in these conditions,” said Rossi. “I know that Yamaha have been studying the data very hard to understand what went wrong for us.”

“We hope that the situation in Phillip Island will be very different. I love this track and have some of the greatest memories of my career there and I really want to be in the best shape for this race. It's too long since I've won there!” continued Rossi – who has 11 podium finishes at the track – before adding, “I think that the championship is going to be a great fight to the end with Lorenzo, but the next two tracks especially are two of my best.”

Rossi’s Fiat Yamaha Team Manager, Davide Brivio, echoed his rider’s sentiments. He remarked, “In Estoril we confirmed the Teams’ title which is a great achievement for everyone because the Fiat Yamaha riders have really dominated this season. Aside from this, it wasn't such a great weekend for us and we had some unexpected problems to contend with. Our engineers have been working hard to understand what went wrong and make sure it doesn’t happen again this weekend, and we’re looking forward to getting back on track and putting it behind us.”

“Valentino has had some fantastic races in Australia but it’s a few years since he’s won there so we will be doing everything we can to get back on the podium this weekend and increase our points lead in the title fight.”

MotoGP, 2009, Iveco AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX, Valentino Rossi, Fiat Yamaha Team

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