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Burgess and Rossi play down overtaking accusations

Burgess and Rossi play down overtaking accusations

The winner of the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, Valentino Rossi has expressed his delight with a first Laguna Seca victory and denied accusations of overly-hard overtaking.

In the aftermath of a first Laguna Seca victory -and some criticism from Casey Stoner of the overtaking moves used to obtain it- both racewinner Valentino Rossi and his Crew Chief Jeremy Burgess were quick to play down any accusations of foul play.

`The overtaking was just like the old days,´ said Rossi after the race, having engaged in a back-and-forth tussle with Stoner up until the Australian came unstuck and suffered a light crash. `I was very strong in braking, and so I tried to attack. I am sorry that Casey thinks some of them were a bit strong but I really don´t agree; I passed only on the brakes, I braked in the same places every time and we never touched. Of course this was an aggressive race, but it was definitely a fair one.´

Rossi´s right hand man Burgess further brushed off the accusation of over-stepping the overtaking mark, stating that: `I think that if Casey had raced in the 80´s and 90´s with Kevin Schwantz, Wayne Rainey and Mick Doohan, then he´d have seen that sort of thing every week. It might not have been what he was expecting; he probably expected to win the race easily as he had dominated in the practices.´

One particularly tight manoeuvre came at the Corkscrew on lap three, with Rossi nearly coming a cropper on the sharp descent as his tyres hit the gravel. The Fiat Yamaha rider forced Stoner to sit up after coming back onto the track, and acknowledged that he had been let off lightly by the treacherous turn.

`The Corkscrew was a great overtaking move!´ joked the World Championship leader. `Sometimes it´s possible to make a mistake there, but the gravel had good grip!´

Rossi´s victory helped him to extend his lead at the top of the World Championship standings to 25 points, with Stoner now the second placed rider in the classification.

MotoGP, 2008, RED BULL U.S. GRAND PRIX, Valentino Rossi, Fiat Yamaha Team

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