Valentino Rossi heads for one of his favourite circuits this weekend, as the MotoGP World Championship moves to Silverstone in the UK.

Rossi won the British Grand Prix seven times when it was at Donington Park, making his belated Silverstone debut in 2011 and claiming a wet win in 2015 - one of four podiums in a row leading up to last year's rain-cancelled race.

A return to the rostrum this weekend would mark The Doctor's first podium since Austin, but the Italian is the top Yamaha rider in the world championship (in fifth), albeit with his lowest points tally after the opening 11 races since 2012 at Ducati.

It's now a close contest between the Yamaha riders with just eleven points covering Rossi, team-mate Maverick Vinales and Petronas rookie Fabio Quartararo.

Rossi finished fifth, between Quartararo and Vinales, last time in Austria, where the M1 worked better than expected at one of its worst circuits. That's given added hope for a strong weekend at Silverstone, traditionally a much more favourable venue for Yamaha.

"I love Silverstone, it's in my top five favourite tracks," Rossi said. "I like it a lot because it's an old-style track. It's very long, riding a lap is like taking a trip from one place to another, and it's technical - it has everything. When you're fast, it's a great pleasure to ride there.

"I have good memories of this circuit, but everything depends on the weather. Riding at Silverstone in difficult when the weather is scary because you're going so fast, so we‘re hoping for similar weather to what we had in 2017, when we had a good weekend.

"To be fast here you need a good feeling and stability. Even in the hairpins you have fast points and there are also a lot of long turns, so it‘s a track where usually Yamaha is fast. We hope for good weather because last year was a nightmare, also for the fans.”

The Silverstone circuit has been completely resurfaced as a result of last year's drainage problems.

"It looks like they made a good job with the new asphalt, with good grip and less bumps, so I'm curious to try," said Rossi.

"Let's see if the new tarmac will provide good grip and if the circuit has been able to fix the bumps that the F1 drivers pointed out in certain places after they raced there earlier this year," added team director Massimo Meregalli.

Despite a victory for Vinales at Assen, Yamaha's 179 constructors' points is the factory's worst score after the opening 11 races since 2003.

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