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Rossi all set for Qatar, Lorenzo happy to be able to ride

Rossi all set for Qatar, Lorenzo happy to be able to ride

The reigning MotoGP World Champion is preparing for the start of his title defence, whilst his Fiat Yamaha team-mate is ready to find out how well his hand has healed.

The 2010 season will be another one full of expectations for the Fiat Yamaha team after their successful campaign last year, when team-mates Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo completed a Championship one-two in the final standings.

Starting the defence of his World Championship title at the Losail International Circuit this weekend reigning Champion Rossi, who now has 103 race wins to his name, enters his 15th season of World Championship Grand Prix racing with the same desire to win that has defined his career to date. And with a strong pre-season on his YZR-M1 prototype behind him, Rossi is impatient to get back on track this weekend.

"Finally we're at the start of the season and we are all very excited. The pre-season has gone well for me, our new M1 is good, Yamaha and Bridgestone have done a great job and we have been fast. We have only had six days on track so we still have work to do and things to learn about the new bike, but we are starting in good shape,” said Rossi, who has twice won at Losail but is yet to taste a night-time victory at the floodlit circuit.

He continued: “I expect this season to be a big battle with many riders very strong, and I hope that we will show some good racing to the fans! Qatar hasn't been one of the best tracks for our bike in the last few years but at the test we went well so I hope this will continue again for the race."

On the other side of the Fiat Yamaha team garage Lorenzo will be setting out for the 2010 season looking to go one better than last year. The highly talented Spaniard pushed his rival all the way for the title, eventually having to settle for second spot at the end of the campaign.

Lorenzo has enjoyed his two previous visits to the track in the MotoGP category a great deal. In his debut race in the premier class in 2008 he qualified in pole position and finished second, and was again on the podium last year in third place.

Whilst his pre-season may not have gone as smoothly as that of his team-mate, Lorenzo did attend the final Test in Qatar having missed Sepang due to a hand injury picked up during training, which allowed him to prepare as best as possible for the opening race.

"I am not perfect yet, I still need more time to recover 100% from my injury, but at least I can ride in Qatar,” said Lorenzo, who underwent intense physiotherapy in order to make the final Test which took place almost three weeks ago.

“I am very happy because we are so close now to the start of the season; it's been a long winter! Unfortunately, I had some troubles in training and hurt my hand, but these things happen. Qatar is a very special track for me; it was the place where I got my first podium in MotoGP in 2008! I know this time it will be more difficult, but I will try to be close to the action. I hope this year it doesn't rain like last year!"

MotoGP, 2010, COMMERCIALBANK GRAND PRIX OF QATAR, Jorge Lorenzo, Valentino Rossi, Fiat Yamaha Team

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