Valentino Rossi hoping to reign in Spain again

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Fresh from his first taste of the world famous Isle of Man TT, Valentino Rossi has turned his attentions back to MotoGP as he aims to claim a second victory on Spanish soil in Catalunya this weekend.

Rossi goes into the sixth round of the 2009 world championship campaign trailing Aussie Casey Stoner and Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo in the points-standings.

But having already claimed one win in Spain in Jerez last month, Rossi is hoping for a repeat at the Catalunya circuit near Barcelona on Sunday.

The 30-year-old has won five times in the premier class in Catalunya and he said: “Mugello was disappointing but still we took some good points and now, entering one of the most important phases of the championship, this is very important. We still haven’t found the perfect answer to make my M1 exactly how I want but Barcelona is a good track for us so hopefully we can make the final step there, also since we will finally have a chance to test on Monday.

“Barcelona is, along with Mugello and Phillip Island, one of my favourite tracks and I always love racing there. I have taken one Spanish win so far this season so I am hoping for another this weekend. We need to keep focused and use what we learnt in Mugello to put us in the right shape.”

One man who certainly won’t want to be repeating his last race in Spain is home favourite Lorenzo.

The double world 250 champion crashed out of the Jerez race while pursuing current world championship leader Stoner for third place.

Since Jerez, Lorenzo hasn’t finished off the podium in Le Mans and Mugello and he said: “I’ve had a great season so far but it hasn’t all been perfect and I made a big mistake in Jerez when I tried to pass Stoner, so hopefully I can do better for my home fans this time! After Mugello and Le Mans we know that anything can happen and you just have to keep calm and focused. Now we’re going to my home, the closest place to my Island of Mallorca and one of my favourite tracks.”

“I’ve always been fast there, right back to when I went there for the first time when I was in 125s and got my first second row start. My main aim this time is to have a better weekend than last year and to completely forget what happened. I improved on last year in Mugello so hopefully I can do the same again in Barcelona.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt