Valentino Rossi believes his unexpected Le Mans problems mean he and Fiat Yamaha must 'work in another way' to get the best from the 2009 Bridgestone tyres.

Rossi led a Yamaha one-two-three at Le Mans in 2008, but this year's event saw the reigning six-time MotoGP world champion ranked sixth, eleventh, fourth and third in the four track sessions leading up to the wet/dry race.

After being unable to match the pace of team-mate Jorge Lorenzo in the early wet laps, Rossi dived into the pits for his dry bike - but was caught out by a damp patch on his return and, after further pit stops and a ride through penalty, finished 16th and last.

Rossi had also struggled at the previous Jerez round, before a last minute turnaround allowed him to claim victory in the race. However, those changes didn't seem to transfer over to Le Mans.

"In Le Mans we had a bad race and a bad weekend," said Rossi, now one point behind Lorenzo in the championship. "We had a lot of problems and the mistake in the race meant I threw away some important points in the championship. We expected a better performance because in 2008 I was so fast at Le Mans.

"It means a lot of things have changed since then and we need to work in another way with these mono-tyres on the bike."

Nevertheless, Rossi isn't too worried for this weekend's Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, when he will be chasing his eighth home victory in a row at a circuit he feels is second to none.

"It is not very important at Mugello, because Mugello is a story apart from the rest of the championship," he said.

"Seven wins in a row is fantastic. At the beginning, with the 500, I had some bad luck and some crashes, but anyway great races. Then in MotoGP [from 2002] I've been so competitive with Honda and then Yamaha.

"From one point of view this race is a lot more important than any other, because we are racing in Italy and this track is fantastic. It is a great pleasure to ride a MotoGP bike here. There are also a lot of crowd near the track and the atmosphere is something really special.

"It is the most exciting circuit in the world for me."


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