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Misano - Preview

Cast your mind back to the 2007 San Marino Grand Prix. Casey Stoner claimed a dominant victory, while Valentino Rossi suffered a devastating retirement that all but brought an end to his MotoGP title hopes.

Fast forward back to 2008 and as the MotoGP riders get ready for this year's edition of the Misano event, the roles are very much reversed; Rossi heads to his home circuit with his fingers gently brushing this year's trophy, while Stoner balances precariously on his back foot.

Fifty points separate the two with only six races of this year's occasionally bruising, but consistently thrilling, title race remaining and the momentum has certainly shifted to Rossi.

Following on from the victory at Laguna Seca that will likely go down in MotoGP folklore in years to come, Rossi added another 25 points to his margin at Brno when Stoner slid off his Ducati and into retirement whilst leading.

It was a costly mistake that could well deny Stoner the chance at a second consecutive MotoGP title, although in terms of out-and-out speed, the Ducati rider does seem to have the edge on the competition at the moment.

However, speed does not always mean consistency, and Rossi has proven this year that you need both. Still, while he returns to Misano – which is just a short distance from where he grew up – with high hopes of keeping Stoner honest, his first target is to redeem himself in front the barmy army of fans that watched him fail to finish last year. Expect to see a sea of yellow and blue lining the circuit this weekend…

Victory would also see Rossi win his 68th race, significant because it would equal that of Giacomo Agostini's record. Regarded by many as the greater rider of all time – alongside Rossi of course – Agostini is expected to be in attendance, just to make the moment all the more poignant.

Beyond Rossi's win and Stoner's mistake in Czech Republic, the big news to come out of the previous round was undoubtedly the dismal performance by the Michelin riders, most notably Dani Pedrosa.

Embarking on a comeback trail following injury, one-time championship leader Pedrosa was forced to amble around the back of the field all weekend on the way to 15th place in the race, while he also took the decision not to stay at the circuit for post-event testing. A public lambasting of Michelin duly followed.



Related Pictures

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Start, 2007 MotoGP World Championship,
Zarco`s Yamaha, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Zarco`s Yamaha, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Zarco`s Yamaha, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Zarco`s Yamaha, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Zarco`s Yamaha, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Zarco`s Yamaha, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Zarco`s Yamaha, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Zarco`s Yamaha, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Zarco`s Yamaha, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Pedrosa, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Rossi, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Pedrosa, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Pedrosa, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Rossi, Redding, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Rossi, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
Rossi, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
Rossi, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016

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