Rossi Chasing Fourth Straight Victory Valentino Rossi chases his fourth consecutive victory this weekend as the MotoGP World Championship sets sail across the Mediterranean to Barcelona, following the Italian's epic seventh Mugello win on...
Rossi Chasing Fourth Straight Victory
Valentino Rossi chases his fourth consecutive victory this weekend as the MotoGP World Championship sets sail across the Mediterranean to Barcelona, following the Italian's epic seventh Mugello win on Sunday. The Circuit de Catalunya is another happy hunting ground for Rossi, who has graced the top step of the podium there on no fewer than eight occasions in all classes, whilst fellow Fiat Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo will hope for plenty of local backing as he targets a return to podium form in the seventh round of the season.
Rossi's magical home victory has extended his series lead to 12 points over Spain's Dani Pedrosa and, as the Bridgestone rider senses a serious opportunity to recover his crown, the five-time former MotoGP World Champion will look to consolidate that cushion at a circuit where he remains the only rider to have taken victory in all three Grand Prix classes. Rossi went from a record-setting pole position to second place at Catalunya last year but is determined to return to the form he showed there when dominating for the previous three seasons.
Michelin-shod Jorge Lorenzo, who lived in Barcelona for much of his early career and hails from Mallorca -- just a short ferry ride from the city - also started from pole there last year with a new lap record in the 250cc class, when he qualified over a second clear of his nearest rival. The 21-year-old took the fifth victory of his second title-winning season in that race and after escaping further injury when he crashed out at Mugello on Sunday he would like nothing more than to consolidate his MotoGP progress with a podium revisit.
Like Mugello, the Circuit de Catalunya features a main straight that is amongst the longest in the world. The rest of the track is characterised by long radius, medium and high-speed sweepers, with two tight left-hand hairpins thrown into the mix. This variation combined with regular changes in camber makes the circuit particularly demanding on chassis balance and means that front-end feel is a key concern for every rider.
"ANOTHER ONE OF MY FAVOURITES"
"Like I said on Sunday, I really needed to go to sleep for some days after my win in Mugello, but instead we have to keep going to Barcelona! Honestly I would prefer that these two races weren't back to back because they are two of my favourite tracks and I would prefer to be able to focus on them both separately, but anyway our motivation is high and I am sure we will have all recovered by Friday morning. Mugello was a fantastic victory and it's a great feeling to have won three races in a row this season, only one less than we won in the whole of last season! Last year I had a great fight with Stoner at Catalunya but I couldn't quite beat him, however this year our bike and tyres are working brilliantly and so I am confident that we will be able to fight be very motivated and hard to beat. Anyway I love racing in Spain and I always have a lot of fans there so I am looking forward to another good weekend."
"NO TIME TO DWELL"
"I'm quite lucky because after the crash at Mugello there's no time to dwell on it. We're straight back to business this week and on Friday I'll be back on the bike. I'm also going there in good spirits because it's my home Grand Prix and I'm looking forward to making my MotoGP debut there. Finally yesterday we found what the problem had been over the past two races and now it's just a case of working to solve it. Montmelo is a circuit I like, for its corners and its long straight, as well as for all the fans who fill the grandstands year after year."
"ONE BETTER THAN LAST YEAR"
"Barcelona last year was a fantastic race between Valentino and Casey Stoner, but unfortunately we finished second! This year our first aim is to fight like that again and the second target is to arrive at the finish in front. With this race coming so soon after Mugello we're still on a high after our exciting win there and now we must try to do the same again in Spain. Our rider, our bike and our tyres are working very well together and so I hope we can remain concentrated and focused and try to make the most of another of Valentino's favourite tracks."
"WE'LL TRY NEW TRACTION CONTROL SETTING"
"This is a home Grand Prix for Jorge and we're confident that the work we did at Mugello can be very useful there and for the other races coming up. We know why he wasn't so competitive on Sunday and at Barcelona we'll try a different set-up, concentrating on the traction control setting. We're sure that the fans will help to make him feel at home and give him even more motivation to succeed this weekend. Physically he is growing stronger with each passing day and thankfully he escaped without any setbacks to his ankles in his crash at Mugello so we think he'll be in good shape again in Barcelona. I believe we can be competitive in the way Yamaha showed at Mugello."