Four tracks give Rossi speed concern

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Valentino Rossi has expressed his concern about Ducati’s horsepower and top speed advantage at four tracks which remain on the 2007 MotoGP world championship calendar.

The seven-times world champion told MCN he is worried about the impressive new GP7 at Shanghai, Mugello, Catalunya and Sepang.

While the Malaysian GP at Sepang doesn’t take place until October, the other three tracks playing on his mind are fast approaching, with the China GP in Shanghai just four weeks away.

Immediately after the Far East clash, the MotoGP circus heads back to Europe and after the French GP at Le Mans comes the Mugello and Catalunya races in early June.

Like Shanghai, both feature long straights which on early season evidence will play into the hands of Ducati.

Rossi is fearful of Ducati’s straight line speed advantage after he was defeated by Australian Casey Stoner in the season’s opening race in Qatar.

Rossi’s factory Yamaha YZR-M1 was embarrassingly outgunned on the long home straight at Doha’s Losail International Circuit, and he is hoping engine upgrades he is likely to have in time for the next race in Istanbul will help bridge the gap to Ducati.

The 28-year-old said: “Yes I am worried. We demonstrated in Qatar but especially in Jerez that our bike works very well.

“We have good handling, good turning and good agility. Our weak point is speed and top power and in Qatar it was impossible to win.

And he added: “With less of a straight in Jerez I was able to win but in tracks like Shanghai, Mugello, Barcelona and Sepang, like it is at the moment with such a big difference in the straight it is very difficult to beat Ducati.”


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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt