Valentino Rossi aims to end Casey Stoner's golden home run

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Valentino Rossi reckons he will have to produce a ride every bit as good as his stunning success in Sepang last weekend to defeat Casey Stoner at Phillip Island this weekend.

Rossi came from 11th to win in Malaysia on Sunday to give his confidence a huge lift ahead of this weekend’s Australian MotoGP clash at the spectacular Phillip Island track.

But to claim his first success in Australia since 2005, Rossi has to contend with the serious threat posed by home favourite Stoner.

The 24-year-old has been untouchable on home soil in the 800cc era having won in 2007, ’08 and ’09.

Stoner was in golden form heading to his home race after back-to-back victories in Motorland Aragon and Twin Ring Motegi but his purple patch was halted somewhat in Sepang last weekend when he crashed out on the opening lap.

But Rossi believes the factory Ducati rider is still an overwhelming favourite to make it four wins in a row this weekend.

The 31-year-old said: “The bigger problem of Phillip Island is Stoner, because he rides very well and the Ducati is great in that track. Last year I tried to beat him on the last lap, but I couldn’t.

"The last time I won at Phillip Island was in 2005 but after that I’ve always been on the podium since then so I have to try, but f**k, Casey and Ducati are very, very fast in that track.

"I’ll need to be at 100 per cent to beat him and we should not forget Jorge because he does not have the pressure of the championship.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt