Qatar MotoGP: Eurosport expert backs Valentino Rossi

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Eurosport’s expert summariser James Haydon has backed Fiat Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi to retain his MotoGP world championship crown in 2009.

Italian Rossi kicks off the defence and his crown and his quest for a ninth world title under Qatar’s spectacular floodlights this weekend.

His chief rival is clearly going to be Ducati’s Casey Stoner after the Aussie dominated 2009 pre-season testing, but former 500GP, WSB and BSB racer Haydon has backed Rossi to win again.

Haydon said: “Valentino Rossi is still my favourite. The Yamaha he has is a great bike and he sure knows how to use it. Stoner will still give Rossi a hard time and no one can ride a Ducati like Stoner.

“Jorge Lorenzo will also be a big player, along with Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso will be a strong team on the Hondas.”

Haydon also says he expects to see more from British rider James Toseland in his second premier class campaign.

“It will be interesting to see James Toseland in his second season in MotoGP, although he will be more prepared it takes until your third year before you become accustomed to MotoGP.

“The first year for the bike, the second year to really understand the tracks, and then in your third year you’re finally ready, “added Haydon, who said he was simply looking forward to the new MotoGP getting underway on Sunday night.

He added: “Without doubt it is the pinnacle of motorsport. You have to be fit, focused and determined, as well as have a good relationship with your team. Rossi brings fun as well as being determine, so enjoy it while you can.”

Do you agree with Haydon and think Rossi is the favourite? Post a comment below.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt