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Rossi: Things are great.

If Valentino Rossi wants to battle for a landmark 100th grand prix victory in front of his home fans at Mugello on May 31, then he'll first need to claim his 99th win this weekend at Le Mans.

Rossi arrives in France leading the world championship by a comfortable eleven points thanks to his first win of the season last time out at Jerez, when he caught and overtook all three of his nearest title rivals - Jorge Lorenzo, Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa.

Le Mans has traditionally been one of Yamaha's best circuits and last year saw a clean-sweep of the podium with Rossi on top, team-mate Lorenzo second and Tech 3 Yamaha rider Colin Edwards in third.

“My memories of Le Mans last year are amazing because it was my 90th career victory and I made the lap of honour with Angel Nieto on my bike with me, because I equalled his record,” recalled Rossi, who also won at Le Mans in 2002 and 2005. “Also there were three Yamahas on the podium, which was very special.”

After struggling in qualifying at Jerez, the Italian and his crew are adamant that they have found the right set-up for the 2009 M1 and control Bridgestone tyres to allow them to fight for victory at every round.

“Things are great in our team at the moment, we made a big step forward in Jerez; my bike was fantastic and it was great to win again,” he said. “Le Mans is a very different track but the Yamaha is always fast there; this year a lot of things have changed but I hope we will still be quick! It's good to have a rest between races after two together and now we will arrive in Le Mans fully relaxed and ready to work on maximum power.”

“We're coming in good shape and once again our priority is to remain on the podium because this consistency is what's going to be important for the championship,” added Rossi's Fiat Yamaha team manager Davide Brivio. “Of course if there's the possibility to win we will try as well! We have great memories of the track and now we hope to make some more this year.”

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Rossi and Angel Nieto, French MotoGP Race 2008
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Bob Buttamasangy

May 13, 2009 12:55 PM

Ooh ooh stop it, you're hurting my feelings with all those nasty words. Hah! What a bunch of pu551es! Just face it, he is even more scared than you kiddies that he couldn't manage the Duc. HE knows it, YOU know it. The irony is, I reckon he could do it, but unfortunately he hasn't got the goolies to even try and that's why this bloke will always pull up short of his own hype for the REAL race fans. Anything more than 2 or 3 year old records are just statistics for uncertain wannabes to look up on the internet and regurgitate over and over again to keep themselves convinced that they actually know what they're talking about. Move on, trust me, it won't hurt! Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Bob Buttamasangy

May 12, 2009 12:44 PM

Being Stoners team mate could be a very embarrasing end to his career. He'd never risk it, even if Ducati could afford it. Several earlier championships were handed to him and it's only fair to compare Stoner & Rossi since they've competed in the same class simultaneously. So as I see it, it's one apiece for Rossi, Stoner and Hayden. Greatest Of The Weekend is about the flashest accolade he can hope for before he pulls up stumps. If he gets another crown he'll have earned it. Good to see a 'Moan Free' comment from him for a change.

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