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Czech Republic Grand Prix - Preview.

The Olympic Games may currently be in full flow, but the fiercest sporting contest of the summer could explode back into action on Sunday when Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner meet head-to-head at Brno.

Their last confrontation at Laguna Seca may have been four weeks ago but it's still fresh in the minds of millions of fans throughout the world who can't wait for the next installment. Last year nearly a quarter of a million fans packed Brno over the weekend and even more are expected this weekend on the back of that brilliant US GP battle.

In America seven times world champion Rossi, riding the Fiat Yamaha, rode one of his greatest ever races to beat the superior speed of Stoner and Ducati in one of the toughest battles of the last decade. There is no reason why there can not be more of the same round the magnificent Brno circuit at round 12 of the Championship in the 22 lap race on Sunday.

Rossi has now opened up a 25 point lead over Stoner in the championship with seven rounds remaining and the Ducati rider will be looking for a repeat of his comfortable Brno victory last season to pull back the advantage - and inflict revenge for what he believes was overly aggressive riding from Rossi in America.

The young Australian will be chasing a hatrick of Brno wins for the Ducati factory, with Loris Capirossi taking a Desmosedici to victory two years ago, but Rossi also has a good record at the 3.357 mile circuit that staged its first grand prix in 1987. The Italian has won three premier class races plus a 250 and a 125 in 1996 which was the first of his 92 grands prix victories.

The four week break has been a godsend for the two Spanish riders trailing Rossi and Stoner in the Championship. Both Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo will return to the action after recovering from injuries.

Third placed Pedrosa missed the US Grand Prix after crashing out while leading the wet German Grand Prix for Repsol Honda the week before, while fourth placed Lorenzo had a spectacular fall from his Fiat Yamaha on the first lap at Laguna Seca, breaking bones in his foot.

Both riders have already tasted victory this season and have impressive record at Brno. Pedrosa has won 125 and 250cc races while Lorenzo has won the 250cc race for the last two years and secured a 125cc victory four years ago.

Also making a return to the action is John Hopkins who finished a brilliant second last year at Brno for Rizla Suzuki. The American has missed the last three grands prix for Kawasaki after a spectacular qualifying accident in Holland.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Stoner, Rossi, US MotoGP 2008
Ray Haughes, cycled from Austrian track to Brno circuit, Czech MotoGP 2016
Ray Haughes, cycled from Austrian track to Brno circuit, Czech MotoGP 2016
Randy de Puniet tests KTM at Brno (pic: KTM)
Crutchlow LCR Honda in Castrol livery at Brno test (pic: Crash.net)
Banners, Czech Moto2 Race 2015
Banner, Czech Moto3 2015
Movistar Yamaha bikes at Brno test (Pic: Yamaha).
Crowd, Czech MotoGP 2014
Rossi fans, Czech MotoGP 2014
Fans, Czech MotoGP 2014
Sunset at Brno circuit, Czech MotoGP 2014
Sunset at Brno circuit, Czech MotoGP 2014
Sunset at Brno circuit, Czech MotoGP 2014
Sunset at Brno circuit, Czech MotoGP 2014
Sunset at Brno circuit, Czech MotoGP 2014
Sunset at Brno circuit, Czech MotoGP 2014
Sunset at Brno circuit, Czech MotoGP 2014

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bangers - Unregistered

August 14, 2008 4:57 AM

Don't forget the mighty midget will be back on deck. He was leading the championship until he binned it, I expect he'll be in amongst it. Should be a good'un.



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