Contract rumours aside, Valentino Rossi has admitted its hard to get back into racing just one week after wrapping up his fifth world title - although the fact he'll be riding at the fabulous Phillip Island circuit has made things a lot easier...

"It is sometimes difficult to restart after such a great weekend - especially as we have no break really before the next GP but I love Phillip Island," explained Vale (pictured last year). "It is a fabulous circuit, different to the others because it is so up and down. It has long and incredibly fast corners, especially the first and last turns.

"I remember testing the V5 here for the first time - going down the hill at the end of the straight my feet came off the footpegs and I was almost flying!" recalled a wide-eyed Rossi. "We have had some great races here in the past so hopefully the weather will stay nice and we can have another great show on Sunday.

"I would be very happy to make the podium for every race in the season," he added. "We win the title and the team championship, so now this could be the target to keep the motivation."

MotoGP Rookie Nicky Hayden has been quite happy that all the attention focused on his team-mate, and has steadily improved his own performances: From a season's mid-way low of 11th he's surged up the riders standings to a heady sixth spot with a string of fantastic rides over the last six GP's (a 5th, 6th, 9th, 5th, 3rd and last week 4th). He now lies a tantalising five points behind Ducati mounted Troy Bayliss.
"When I tested at Phillip Island back at the beginning of the year I really enjoyed it. The track, the atmosphere, and the ocean in the background; makes for a real good settin'," said Hayden. "The track lay out is great too. The big left handers and the last corner is real fun.

"I've waited since February to get back here and I can't wait. I'm hoping for a good result from the last two races; here and at Valencia, back in Europe, to finish my first MotoGP season off on a high. I'm feelin' great at the moment and just want to up the momentum," he added.

First qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix takes place tomorrow (Friday).

 

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