Motegi MotoGP: Valentino Rossi anticipates strong Casey Stoner challenge

1 of 1

Valentino Rossi has predicted another strong challenge from Ducati rival Casey Stoner in this weekend’s Japanese GP.

Sunday’s race sees a quick return to the Twin Ring Motegi circuit for the 30-year-old, who regained the MotoGP crown for the first time since 2005 in Japan eight months ago.

The Fiat Yamaha rider, who was convincingly beaten  by Stoner in the season’s opening race in Qatar earlier this month, said:

“My memories of last year at Motegi are incredible, because it was such a special victory after two year’s without the championship.

“This year of course will be very different, it’s only the second race and it will be quite strange going there so early in the championship.

“In Qatar we had one or two small areas that could have been better, so we will be trying hard to improve our setting during the practice time so that we’re able to run at the front on Sunday.

“I expect that Stoner will be strong again, so we just need to reduce the gap to him so that we can put up more of a fight.

“In the past Motegi hasn’t been a great track for me and I’ve had some bad races there, but I think last year cancelled that all out so I hope it can be successful for us once again this year.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt