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Riveting Lorenzo-Rossi duel set to intensify

Riveting Lorenzo-Rossi duel set to intensify

Fiat Yamaha pair prepared for round four of the season at Mugello: the next instalment of an already enthralling battle between the Championship leader and reigning title holder.

The Gran Premio d’Italia TIM provides a stunning backdrop for the fourth round of the 2010 MotoGP World Championship, but the competition barely needs any further build-up as an already fantastic contest continues at Mugello between Fiat Yamaha team-mates Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi.

Lorenzo is on a hot streak of form having won the last two races and he will be defending a nine-point advantage over Rossi at the top of the Championship standings. Mugello is a circuit the Spaniard has had a more than eventful history at: he finished second there last year, crashed in his Italian premier class debut at the circuit in 2008, and won the 250cc race on his way to the 2006 quarter-litre title.

"Last year Mugello was one of my best races! I crashed in the warm-up lap, but otherwise it was almost perfect and I was so happy to get on the podium. The sessions and the race were amazing because the weather kept changing,” said Lorenzo. “For me, Mugello is the best circuit in the world, joint with Phillip Island. It's a classic circuit with many ups and downs and an incredible atmosphere.”

Having taken 70 points from his opening three races of the season, the best start in the premier class since Rossi’s in 2005, Lorenzo will now bid to make it a third successive victory after his wins at Jerez and Le Mans. “I have had a great start to the season and once again our aim will be to be strong from the first day and get on the podium,” he added.

Standing in his way and ready for another intense duel will be reigning World Champion and team-mate Rossi, whose form at Mugello is nothing short of formidable. The Italian won for seven successive seasons between 2002 and 2008, and finished third there last season on his way to the title.

The 31 year-old is eager to secure his second win of the 2010 campaign in his home GP and close up the slender gap to Lorenzo, and said: "After another rest I hope my shoulder is fully recovered and that I will be back to full strength for Mugello, my home race. We had some problems in Le Mans so we will be working hard from the first session to make sure that we're back to our best.”

Rossi continued: “Mugello is an incredible place to ride a motorcycle, there is nowhere else like it in the world with all the fans around the hills and when you go out for the first lap the sound is something amazing. I always look forward to racing there and I hope we will be in good shape this weekend."

MotoGP, 2010, GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA TIM, Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Fiat Yamaha Team

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