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Mixed reactions from Fiat Yamaha rivals

Mixed reactions from Fiat Yamaha rivals

Valentino Rossi is hoping for clear conditions at Phillip Island on Sunday, and is pleased to have placed ahead of Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo on the grid.

Confident he has found a balance with his YZR-M1 and satisfied with a front-row start for Sunday’s Iveco Australian Grand Prix, Valentino Rossi has told he is praying for clear weather.

Rossi secured second spot behind Casey Stoner, and Jorge Lorenzo’s inability to make the front row for the first time this season gave Rossi an added boost.

“I’m happy, especially because we did a good job this afternoon. We found a good setting and I feel good with the bike,” said Rossi. “We also have a good advantage over my team-mate, which is very important for the championship fight. Unfortunately I made a small mistake in the last section of the track, but second is okay.”

Looking forward to his fight with Stoner, which was an engrossing prospect throughout the qualifying practice, Rossi said, “I think it will be a great battle at a high level, also with a good advantage on the other guys. This means we are in good shape, our bike works well and it’s so close. We will try tomorrow.”

“Now we have to pray for good weather tomorrow. The race is at 4pm which is quite late, so we hope to have spring tomorrow and not winter!”

Rossi’s team-mate and closest rival for the world title Lorenzo missed out on third place on the grid by a thousandth of a second to Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa, and the Spaniard was unable to hide his disappointment at what has been a below-par weekend so far.

“I'm a bit disappointed to lose my 100% front-row qualifying record by such a tiny amount, but today we just didn't quite have enough pace,” he said. “We still don't have enough grip on the rear and the tyre is spinning too much, which makes it difficult to be fast enough. Tomorrow I will try to adapt my riding style instead in order to try to make it onto the podium.”

“I feel better than yesterday but I'm still not at 100%; I feel quite weak still because I haven't been able to eat much. I will have to try before tomorrow in order to have enough strength for the race. I don't feel any pressure, I will just go out and do my best.”

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

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