Fiat Yamaha boss assesses 2009 MotoGP contenders

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Fiat Yamaha boss Davide Brivio has told MCN he expects Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa to remain as chief title rivals to reigning world champion Valentino Rossi in 2009.

Since the start of the 800cc MotoGP era, Italian Rossi and factory Ducati rider Stoner have dominated the premier class, winning 29 of the 36 races between them.

Pedrosa has won four of the other seven races with only Chris Vermeulen, Loris Capirossi and Jorge Lorenzo taking a solitary victory each.

And Brivio believes Rossi, Stoner and Pedrosa will be key players again, not least because of their consistency in running at the front.

“Fighting for a world championship is something not very easy to do. You can have ten riders that can lap very quickly for just one lap, but what makes the difference is how they are arrive at the start of the race in terms of mental condition and machine set-up and the question is can they keep this mental condition for 18 races?

Sometimes at the start of the season you will see many riders fighting but at the end there are very few remaining. In this sense I think Valentino, Casey and Dani are more prepared and experienced to fight at the level needed for 18 rounds.”

Brivio though also believes that Rossi’s Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo will figure more prominently in 2008 after his crash strewn but impressive rookie season.

He also thinks that new factory Honda recruit Andrea Dovizioso will also be a threat when the new season gets underway in Qatar on April 12.

Brivio added: “Jorge will be there for sure, and also Andrea, not at all races but sometimes. I don’t know if Andrea will be able to win a race but he will always be there. Last year he was only 12 points behind Jorge but he was much more quiet.

“He didn’t maybe impress like Jorge but at the end he was only 12 points behind, so that proves he is always there and working hard to improve.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt