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Preview - Czech Republic Grand Prix.

Rider and rule changes will greet the MotoGP World Championship when the 2009 season resume after the summer break with this weekend's Czech Republic Grand Prix at Brno.

The big news is that double 2009 race winner, and third in the championship, Casey Stoner has withdrawn from the next three rounds to try and finally get a grip on the fatigue problems he has suffered at the last five races.

Stoner's place at Ducati Marlboro will be taken by rookie Mika Kallio, who gets his big chance to impress on full factory machinery, while WSBK star Michel Fabrizio steps into Kallio's shoes at the satellite Pramac team.

Stoner's withdraw means the 2007 world champion is forfeiting any chance of this year's crown, which now looks to be a straight fight between Fiat Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo.

Rossi has won four races so far this season, compared with two for Lorenzo, and will start round eleven of 17 with a 25 point lead despite crashing last time out at Donington Park.

Rossi, like Lorenzo, tumbled from his M1 while leading the race - held in tricky weather conditions - but while Rossi rejoined to claim fifth, Lorenzo was out on the spot.

The Italian now has a symbolic one race advantage as he returns to the scene of his very first grand prix victory, in the 125cc class, at Brno in 1996.

Rossi took his fourth premier-class win at the circuit last season after Stoner fell from the lead, the kind of mistake Lorenzo cannot afford to make.

Despite his Donington crash Lorenzo is in great form and knows the next three grands prix in the space of four weeks will decide if he is a serious championship contender.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Race Start, Czech MotoGP Race 2008
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Moto-GP Fan. - Unregistered

August 12, 2009 3:25 PM

Excited the racing is back again after the summer break. Gonna be a wicked race. Predictions 1 V. Rossi 2 J.Lorenzo 3 D.Pedrosa 4 C.Edwards 5 A.Dovizioso 6 R.De Puniet 7 T.Elias 8 A.De Angelis 9 L.Capirossi 10 C.Vermeulen.

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