Valentino Rossi will be looking to shrug off his first non-points since 2007 by claiming a staggering eighth home victory in a row during this weekend's Italian Grand Prix at Mugello.

Rossi's Le Mans misery - which saw the Fiat Yamaha rider change bikes three times, fall while using slicks on a wet track and suffer a ride-through penalty for speeding in the pitlane - robbed the #46 of the world championship lead and shattered his chance to fight for a 100th grand prix victory at Mugello.

Instead Rossi will once again be fighting for win number 99, and his second victory of the 2009 season, as he seeks to overturn team-mate Jorge Lorenzo's one-point advantage.

Rossi has a mythical record at Mugello, winning the premier-class race continuously since 2002. The 30-year-old also won the 1999 250cc Italian Grand Prix and claimed his first home win in the 125cc class in 1997.

If one of Rossi's three main title rivals - Lorenzo, Casey Stoner or Dani Pedrosa - were to beat the reigning six time MotoGP world champion this weekend, it would be a mighty blow.

Imagine, for example, if Lorenzo was to plant his Lorenzo's Land flag into the Mugello gravel on Sunday.

Rossi is sure to do everything within his power to prevent that happening, but admits its getting ever harder to keep his win streak alive.

"Racing at Mugello is something incredible for me, but every year it gets more difficult to keep my record going and seven wins in a row is already a lot!" admitted Rossi.

"I do feel pressure going there, but at the same time it is always amazing and the fans give me an extra motivation that helps me to perform in a different way there. I hope it's the same again this year, because after Le Mans I really need a good result!

"It was disappointing but everyone has the occasional bad day and that was ours. Everything possible went wrong but hopefully that is all our bad luck for now and this time, at our home race, we will be back to our best.

"I always look forward to this race; it's very busy for me but I have so many amazing memories. Let's hope to create some more this weekend," he added.

"Mugello is of course a great and important race for us, but each year it gets a bit harder to keep the winning record," confirmed team manager Davide Brivio. "Now we try for Valentino's eighth in a row but it will be tough because everyone will be out to stop him - he is the man to beat there! It will be difficult but we're excited by the challenge."


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