Reigning world champion Valentino Rossi has admitted he is feeling the weight of expectation ahead of this weekend’s crucial Italian MotoGP race in Mugello.
The 30-year-old is looking to notch an incredible eighth successive victory on home soil in Mugello this weekend, with the Fiat Yamaha rider looking to make up for a calamitous French GP in Le Mans earlier this month.
Rossi finished last in Le Mans for the first time in his career and he heads home to Mugello locked in a thrilling title fight with team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati’s Casey Stoner and Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa.
Just nine-points split the top four with Rossi trailing Spaniard by a single point after Lorenzo dominated the French GP.
And while Rossi is excited at the prospect of racing in front of a passionate home crowd of nearly 90,000 Italian fans, he has conceded to feeling under pressure to deliver another victory.
Rossi said: “Racing at Mugello is something incredible for me, but every year it gets more difficult to keep my record going and seven wins in a row is already a lot! I do feel pressure going there, but at the same time it is always amazing and the fans give me an extra motivation that helps me to perform in a different way there."
"I hope it’s the same again this year, because after Le Mans I really need a good result! It was disappointing but everyone has the occasional bad day and that was ours. Everything possible went wrong but hopefully that is all our bad luck for now and this time, at our home race, we will be back to our best. I always look forward to this race; it’s very busy for me but I have so many amazing memories. Let’s hope to create some more this weekend.”