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First race for Rossi at Silverstone

First race for Rossi at Silverstone

The British Silverstone circuit hosts the AirAsia British Grand Prix Round 6 of the MotoGP World championship on Sunday, where Valentino Rossi will be the only rider on the MotoGP grid without prior race experience at the circuit this weekend.

The British Silverstone circuit inaugurated an impressive new structure called “The Wing” on May 17th, that includes offices, a pit lane and large, modern garages. Construction of the new structure required the starting line to be relocated, moving it to nearly on the opposite side of the track compared to before, but the circuit’s layout remains identical to last year.

This will be the first race for Valentino Rossi at the British circuit, as the Italian rider missed the British GP last year due to the injuries suffered in a crash at Mugello, though he recently attended the inauguration ceremony for the new paddock structure at Silverstone circuit, making the most of his visit turning twenty laps or so aboard a production Ducati 1198. On Friday, he’ll face the duel challenge of learning the wide, fast circuit on a MotoGP bike while working on the GP11 bike’s setup.

Nicky Hayden, meanwhile, has good memories of his Silverstone debut, as he took a strong fourth-place finish and just missed out on the podium. On Wednesday, the American did a lap of honor on the Mountain Course at the Isle of Man aboard a Ducati 1198 SP.

Valentino Rossi:
“Silverstone is a great track that’s difficult and quite fast. I’ll start on Friday with a small handicap because unfortunately, I didn’t get to race there last year. I haven’t ridden a MotoGP bike there, although I did about twenty laps on an 1198 street bike. I’ll have to learn the track as quickly and as well as possible, as it’s very technical, with several blind spots where taking the right line is very important. Of course we’ll also have to work on adjusting the bike. Anyway, we’re understanding better and better how to approach the setup of the GP11, and Ducati continues working on development. There’s still work to be done, but it’s clear which areas we have to address and we’re all focused and determined to improve.”

Nicky Hayden:
“It’s been a short week, because Barcelona was just a few days ago. After the race, I went to the Isle of Man TT, which was a great experience. Now it’s time for Silverstone. We went there for the first time last year, so it’s still kind of new and fresh for us. The track layout is the same, but they’ve changed where we enter the pits, which could make it a little different in some ways. It’s a track I enjoyed a lot last year because it’s big, long and fast. The pavement was a little bumpy in a couple of places, but it was perfect in other parts. I’m looking forward to it.”

Tags:
MotoGP, 2011, AIRASIA BRITISH GRAND PRIX, Valentino Rossi, Ducati Team

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