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MotoGP stars try a spot of Aussie rules

MotoGP stars try a spot of Aussie rules

The spotlight was on the riders' handling and kicking skills as they met players from the 2010 AFL Champions, Collingwood Football Club, in an official pre-event ahead of this weekend's Iveco Australian Grand Prix.

2010 MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea Dovizioso, Nicky Hayden, Marco Simoncelli and inaugural Moto2 title holder Toni Elías took on a very different challenge on Thursday ahead of the Iveco Australian Grand Prix. The quintet visited the Phillip Island Football Club where they were met by members of the 2010 AFL Champions Collingwood.

Collingwood stars Alan Didak, Brent Macaffer, Tyson Goldsack and Nathan Brown were on hand to teach their MotoGP counterparts kicking and handling skills, with the riders practicing goal kicks and short passes, with varying levels of success! They then saw the player's 2010 AFL Premiership Cup and were handed shirts with their numbers on as a special memento.

“I've never played before and it's always interesting to understand a new sport! It's a huge pitch and very difficult to manage the ball,” admitted Repsol Honda rider Dovizioso, who comes into the weekend locked in a battle for third in the Championship and having finished twice in the last two races.

“It would be perfect to win here,” he added. “I don't think it will be easy here because the track is good for Casey and Valentino, and they are the two I'm fighting for third in the Championship. But we come here really strong and we are really consistent, so we are confident. We need to start at 100% and see what happens.”

Ducati man Hayden, who this weekend returns to a track he has performed well at in the past commented: “It's a bit different from how we Americans do it but I like it!”

He continued: “Phillip Island is fast and flowing and you have to be brave. When the bike's working well and you're confident it can be a lot of fun. I've had a couple of poles and a few podiums here before and I like it a lot – we'll see this weekend. I had my best qualifying result in a couple of years last weekend in Malaysia but struggled in the race, but we get another crack at it this weekend and will go for it again!”

And finally a slightly perplexed Simoncelli stated: “It's a very strange sport for us Europeans! Especially for the Italians! It's been a great experience, the guys from the team explained things to us and it's been good fun!”

The San Carlo Honda Gresini MotoGP rookie added: “I am very confident for this race. In the last two races we've taken some big steps in terms of improvement. In Malaysia I had a good first 13 laps but then struggled with the heat. Here is one of my favourite tracks and I'm looking to get a best result of the season so far. I'm very excited to ride my MotoGP bike here!”

Tags:
MotoGP, 2010, IVECO AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX

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