Rossi motivated for second-favourite circuit

"I have many nice memories, the most recent of which is the 2009 win after a great battle with Lorenzo."

Rossi motivated for second-favourite circuit


THE next round at Catalunya marks the return to the site where Valentino Rossi stuck the incredible pass on Jorge Lorenzo in 2009 and a track that the nine-time champion ranks amongst his favourites.

Last season Rossi was unable to race at the Montmelo circuit after sustaining the broken leg at Mugello. Rossi commented: “The Catalan Grand Prix is one of the nicest of the season, for a number of reasons: Barcelona is a beautiful city, the track is really nice—probably my second-favorite after Mugello—and finally, as is always the case at Spanish races, the grandstands are filled with enthusiastic fans.

"I’m really happy to return to the track, since I had to watch the race from my house last year."

"I’ve always been quite strong at the track, so I have many nice memories, the most recent of which is the 2009 win after a great battle with Lorenzo." said the Italian, who currently has wins in every class, amassing nine victories and four further podiums around the Spanish track.

We’re very motivated and we’re working really hard on the bike; step-by-step, we can see that we’re making progress. We know there’s still a lot of work to be done, but we need to keep trying to get closer to the front.” concluded Rossi.

Although 2006 was marred by the severe first-turn clash that collected a bevy of riders, Nicky Hayden collected one of his many podium positions on the way to championship glory. The Kentucky Kid added: “Any race in Spain is huge, and Catalunya is no exception. It’s a good track. I made the podium there in 2006, although I haven’t gotten the results I’d like there in recent years, especially last season. I’m looking forward to it.

"The two weeks off have been okay, but I enjoy this part of the season, with back-to-back races. The next month and a half is going to be busy, because this is when the season really gets going. Even though our end result wasn’t a lot better in Le Mans, I definitely think we were closer to the front. Ducati hasn’t stopped working over the last couple of weeks, and we’ll see at Barcelona if we can keep going on the right path.”

Catalunya also holds significance for the Ducati Desmosedic with Loris Capirossi taking advantage of the Bologna Bullet's devastating inline speed to take the first victory for the Italian manufacturer in MotoGP. Team manager Vittoriano Guareschi commented on the latest generation of the team and the generation ahead of the race: "With the Barcelona Grand Prix, we’re beginning a very intense period of racing that should better outline the championship situation before the summer break. The whole team did a good job at Le Mans; Vale got a podium, and although Nicky’s race didn’t go great, he had three positive days.

"The updates that we’ve made to the GP11 have enabled us to take a first step forward, but our goal is obviously to continue improving, because we still have a gap to recover since the bar has been raised quite a bit compared to last year. Valentino is really beginning to feel better physically, and because of that, the feedback that he’s able to give us regarding the development is increasingly precise.

"We’re working under incredibly short deadlines, both in the factory and on the track, but we’re doing our best to provide our riders with a bike that’s increasingly competitive."

After collecting his first podium aboard the Ducati at Le Mans, Rossi holds fifth in the championship going into Catalunya and Hayden is behind his teammate in sixth.

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