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By BT Sport

Rossi joins BT Sport as 'The Greatest Race' search continues

The nine-time World Champion spoke to the British MotoGP™ broadcaster live on Sunday afternoon to talk all things Laguna Seca & Casey Stoner

British MotoGP™ broadcaster continued their search for 'The Greatest Race' on Sunday after the 2009 Catalan Grand Prix won the opening heat last weekend and became the first race to book a place in the final. On Sunday, BT Sport viewers were treated to four classic races – 2017 Australian and Austrian Grands Prix, 2018 Assen TT and 2008 US Grand Prix at Laguna Seca – with nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi joining host Gavin Emmett to discuss the latter.

The classic Laguna Seca battle between Rossi and MotoGP™ Legend Casey Stoner is currently leading the week-long poll and looks like joining Rossi and Lorenzo’s last lap scrap from Barcelona in the final. The fact the race is leading the polls will come as no surprise to Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP rider: "That one was an iconic race and an iconic battle with the overtake at the Corkscrew," said Rossi from his home in Tavullia. "I think for the MotoGP fans that race is one of the most famous and one of the races that fans watch over and over again.

"It was a special victory because it was very important. In that moment, Stoner was really strong and he beat him in 2007 to win the Championship with Ducati. For me, after a long time without a Championship having lost in 2006 and 2007, 2008 was a crucial season because I switched from Michelin to Bridgestone and the battle with Stoner started from Round 1.

"When we arrived at Laguna Seca, that weekend was crucial for the Championship because Stoner was incredibly fast at that track with the Ducati. I was second but a bit too far away throughout the practice sessions. I remember the night before the race, I spoke with Uccio and we said tomorrow will be the day that it’s very important to finish in front of Stoner and that’s the reason why I gave my maximum from the first corner. I thought that the key was to try and stay in front and put my rhythm on the race because Laguna Seca is a difficult circuit to overtake because it’s so narrow. I tried like this, the battle was furious from the beginning to the end and I managed to arrive in front.

"I enjoyed my rivalry very much with Casey, the battles with him were always great because he was one of the best talents in the last era of MotoGP. His talent was great and he was young, very fast and he was, for sure, one of my strongest rivals throughout all of my career."

Reigning MotoGP™ World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) also spoke live on Sunday’s star-studded four-hour show, with British viewers able to catch it via the BT Sport website or app now. Don’t forget to tune in next week as four more MotoGP™ classics join the race to be crowned 'The Greatest Race'.

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