MotoGP: Rossi: "Stoner is not a great fighter"

Reigning MotoGP World Champion thinks arch rival needs to man up!

EIGHT-TIME motorcycle World Champion Valentino Rossi has spoke out against championship rival Casey Stoner, claiming the Australian is 'not a great fighter'.

In a recent interview with French magazine Motorevue, Rossi implies that he isn't impressed with Stoner's arrogant attitude:

"I do not like how Stoner behaves after winning, said Rossi. "When he was world champion in 2007, he began to speak to journalists as if he had won his fifth title in a row."

Rossi then goes on to claim that Stoner isn't a real fighter, prefering to be out front on his own and struggles when challenged. The Italian continues:

"Stoner is not a great fighter, he does not fight. He would like to run alone, but it is not possible."

The Fiat Yamaha rider, who leads the 2009 Championship standings, also claims Stoner's recent bout of illness could be down to his mental state (the Aussie was recently diagnosed with anaemia and gastritis).

 "Pedrosa is less aggressive, but he can look ahead after defeat. When Stoner loses it is a disaster. I am "Doctor" but not a doctor, and psychologist even less, but I think health problems are closely linked to psychological profile. Stoner suffers too when he finishes behind a Yamaha."

Oh dear. That should ruffle a few feathers this weekend. Watch out for a grudge match on Sunday afternoon.