World champion Valentino Rossi has kept up pressure for further safety changes to be made to the Laguna Seca circuit, venue for this weekend's US GP, after revealing that he and his fellow riders have told Dorna that major modifications are needed if MotoGP is to return in 2006.

Rossi's employer Yamaha has funded a series of multi-million dollar safety changes required for the circuit to host this year's returning US GP, resulting in improved run-off in two areas and the universal replacement of kerbing, but almost all riders were still unnerved by what greeted them this weekend.

The biggest concern is the proximity of unprotected concrete barriers on the exit of turn six (which leads up the hill to the corkscrew), while the bumpy surface has also been criticised.

But with the circuit having been passed as fit to race by both the FIM and the riders' safety representative Kenny Roberts Jr prior to the event, all have agreed to compete this weekend - but while making their future demands clear.

"I had a long meeting with many of the other riders and Ezpeleta (Carmelo Ezpeleta of Dorna), and we said that if they want us to come back next year they have to make many changes, including the asphalt because of the many bumps. We also need more run-off space, especially at the (run-up to the) corkscrew," said Rossi on Saturday morning.

The #46 went on to reveal that he's losing out to more experienced riders around the tight and twisty 'rollercoaster' of a circuit.

"For me this will be a very difficult race, more difficult than all others because of riders like Nicky Hayden, Colin Edwards and Troy Bayliss - basically all the experience of the Superbike and American riders at this track. Personally it would be good if I can be on the podium tomorrow, I don't want to speak of victory now," said Vale, who went on to qualify second on Saturday afternoon.

"I did some laps behind Troy Bayliss and realised I need to change my style a bit here to more 'physical,' I think we need a harder set-up as well."

 

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