Valentino Rossi returns to Donington Park this weekend, the scene of his very first premier-class race win, hungry for victory in the circuit's final MotoGP event for the foreseeable future.
Donington Park has held the British MotoGP round since 1987, but the event will switch back to Silverstone from 2010, when Donington is due to take over the F1 Grand Prix.
Rossi is the most successful rider ever at Donington, holding the record for both wins in all classes and most premier-class wins.
The reigning six time MotoGP world champion took his first ever 500cc win at Donington in 2000. The track also holds a special affinity for the Fiat Yamaha rider since he lived in London for several years and was adopted as an honorary Brit.
“Last year I had a good race at Donington to finish second, but this year I really want to win!” declared Rossi, 14 points ahead of team-mate Jorge Lorenzo heading into the final race before the MotoGP summer break.
“I've always said that Donington is one of my favourite tracks in the world - it's fast and flowing but also technical - and also the UK is a very special place for me because for a long time it was my home,” he confirmed.
“This is the last year we are going to race there which I am really sad about, but that makes me even more determined to try to win there, for me and for the fans who have always treated me like one of their own.”
The Italian has seven Donington wins in total, but has been without a victory since 2005, something he is determined to rectify this weekend as he arrives on top form following his fourth win of the season, by just 0.099sec over title rival Lorenzo, last Sunday in Germany.
“I haven't won there since 2005, which is too long and I would like to say 'goodbye' to the track in the best way,” said Rossi. ”Last year we couldn't take the fight to Stoner but this year our bike is extremely competitive and we're arriving leading in the championship so we're in a very strong position.