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Comeback king Rossi: `Second the best we could have hoped´

Comeback king Rossi: `Second the best we could have hoped´

Valentino Rossi had one of the rides of the season to take second at the Australian Grand Prix.

If Valentino Rossi´s head wasn´t already hurting from last weekend´s title celebrations, then it certainly was one week on from his clinching the 2008 World Championship. The Fiat Yamaha rider was smarting from a qualifying crash at the Australian Grand Prix, but with the help of doctors and determination was able to finish runner-up at Phillip Island on Sunday.

The Italian had worked his way up from twelfth on the grid, but would have felt some throbbing in his cranium as he devised a way of passing Tech 3 Yamaha star James Toseland during the Sunday race. In the end Rossi even managed to hunt down Nicky Hayden for second place, in a performance every bit as astounding as his 2003 fight to overcome a ten-second penalty Down Under.

`The problem for me this morning was my head. I woke up this morning with a very strong headache. My head felt like it was exploding when I walked. With James I also had a great battle, as he is always very strong to overtake,´ said Rossi after the race, for which he received painkillers and a series of massages to get him prepared and at somewhere near peak fitness.

Another rostrum for Rossi allows him to keep up his podium streak at Phillip Island, which runs to a decade when taking into account his results from all classes. Off the front row for the first time in Australia since 2002, the chances of his keeping the form alive had looked doubtful.

`Ten years on the podium here, since 1998, something that I am always proud to have achieved. Starting from the fourth row I think that second was the best result that we could have hoped for today, and I am happy to have continued the good run that I have been on since Sachsenring,´ concluded the 2008 titlist, who has only been off the rostrum twice this season.

MotoGP, 2008, AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX, Valentino Rossi, Fiat Yamaha Team

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