Just one week after their last outing at Indianapolis in the USA, the Fiat Yamaha Team will arrive on home shores this week for the second Italian round of the season, at Misano on the east coast of Italy. They touch down in fine style with riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo first and second in the championship and having won eight out of the twelve races between them so far this season. Misano is just 300km from the team’s base just outside Milan and with many Italian team members it is an important weekend for all.
Spanish showman Lorenzo arrives his team-mate’s home race full of confidence after a return to the top step of the podium last time out. He has lost both Spanish races this season to Rossi and is therefore hoping for payback in Italy. He rode one of the best races of his rookie season there last year and will be aiming for more of the same this time as he seeks to stay in touch with Rossi at the top of the championship at a track he loves, having won there in the 250cc class two years ago.
Lorenzo, hoping for a good battle, says:
“Misano is one of the tracks where I was very fast in the past, so I’m really looking forward to going there in such good shape. I won in 2007, the first year we went there, on my 250cc bike and last year I was not far behind Valentino in second. I am very happy that I have cut the championship lead by 25 points in just one race, but I know that the title is still very difficult. My first aim is to keep enjoying riding my bike and try to do the best I can. I hope we can be as good as last year or even better, even though I know how hard it will be the best at Valentino’s ‘house’! I hope everyone there gets to see a big battle!”
Grand Prix racing returned to Misano in 2007 after a 16-year gap, with the circuit altered to run in the opposite direction from previous years. Just a kilometre from the sea and Italy’s famous ‘east coast Riviera,’ the track sits nestled between a string of small towns and villages, which turn into one huge party zone for the thousands of fans that pack into them during the race weekend. Like Indianapolis last weekend, Misano is completely flat but the similarities end there as the Italian track is tight and twisty, with no long straights and a fairly equal balance of right and left corners, meaning an agile bike is a must.
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