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No rest for Fiat Yamaha as they return to Europe and marvellous Misano

Despite having just finished a punishing weekend’s racing in the searing heat of Indianapolis, the MotoGP riders will be back on board in four days time for the twelfth round of the season at Misano Adriatico on Italy’s eastern seaboard. It is another ‘home’ race for the Fiat Yamaha team, as it lies just a few hundred kilometres away their Italian base, and both championship leader Jorge Lorenzo and his team-mate Valentino Rossi will be planning on a big weekend at the Italian party town.

Lorenzo finished third in Indianapolis, the first time he has been out of the top two all season, and although it was another great result for the 23-year-old he was disappointed not to have been able to mount a stronger challenge after winning there the year before. He still leads the championship by a mighty 68-points however and none can argue that he is in the form of his life, with seven wins to his name this season. After finishing second at Misano for the past two sasons he will be one of the favourites to top the podium on Sunday and will be going all-out to take a first premier class win on Italian soil.

Misano lies just 13km away from Rossi’s hometown of Tavullia, where the 31-year-old legend grew up and where he still lives today. The race always brings out the Rossi tifosi in their thousands and this year will be no different as they will their idol on to take a first win since the opening race of the year. Indianapolis was tough for Rossi, who is still suffering the effects of his injury earlier in the season, but the fact that he has won in Misano for the previous two years will give him confidence and he will be aiming for the top come Sunday.

This will be the fourth year of racing at Misano since Grand Prix racing returned there after a 16-year gap, when the circuit was altered to run in the opposite direction to previous years. The tracks sits a kilometre inland, just back from the string of small towns and villages that make up Italy’s ‘East Coast Riviera’ and that turn into a huge party zone for the thousands of fans that pack into them during race weekend. Misano is another completely flat track, like Indianapolis last weekend, 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.

Jorge Lorenzo – “Straight to Misano”
“We are going straight to Misano and I want to continue in the same way and get on the podium again. I’ve been second there for the last two years and I am feeling very motivated and looking forward to another good race. I hope the temperature is a bit cooler than in Indy because it was really too hot there. Last Sunday was my worst result this year, but I am still happy because it was still third and because it was very important for our goal, which is the Championship.”

Valentino Rossi – “Hoping to give the fans a good show”
“In Indianapolis we made some progress with our race setting but the conditions made me realise that I’m still not 100% fit. It’s hard going straight to Misano with no break but hopefully it will be a little bit cooler than Indy! Of course it’s my home race and it’s near my house so it’s always very special to race there, in front of all of my fans. I have won there the last two years but this year we come in slightly different circumstances. Still, we will be trying our hardest and I really hope I can give the fans a good show!”

Wilco Zeelenberg – “A track that he loves”
“Misano is straight away so it will be important that Jorge gets a couple of days of good rest before we get there. It’s a track that he loves and it will be a lot less bumpy than Indy so hopefully a bit easier on everyone. He’s been second there the last two years and our bike works very well there so we will be trying for the podium once again.”

Davide Brivio – “Going in the right direction”
“We were happy after Indy because despite the difficulties of the weekend it ended on a good note and Valentino was able to ride how he wanted in the race, even if it wasn’t for the whole race because of the heat and his physical condition. It shows that we’re going in the right direction towards our goal of a strong end to the season. Now we go to our ‘home’ track, close to our workshop and even closer to Vale’s house! We’ve had two great years there and we will be doing the best we can do put on another good show for all Valentino’s fans at Misano.”

Valentino Rossi : Information
Age: 31
Lives: Tavullia, Italy
Bike: Yamaha
GP victories: 104 (78 x MotoGP/500cc, 14 x 250cc, 12 x 125cc)
First GP victory: Czech Republic, 1996 (125cc)
First GP: Malaysia, 1996 (125cc)
GP starts: 234 (174 x MotoGP/500cc, 30 x 250cc, 30 x 125cc)
Pole positions: 59 (49 x MotoGP/500cc, 5 x 250cc, 5 x 125cc)
World Championships: 9 Grand Prix (1 x 125cc, 1 x 250cc, 1 x 500cc, 6 x MotoGP)

Jorge Lorenzo: Information
Age: 23
Lives: Barcelona, Spain
Bike: Yamaha
GP victories: 33 (13 x MotoGP, 17 x 250cc, 4 x 125cc)
First GP victory: Brazil, 2003 (125cc)
First GP: Jerez, Spain, 2002 (125cc)
GP starts: 139 (45 x MotoGP, 48 x 250cc, 46 x 125cc)
Pole positions: 40 (14 x MotoGP, 23 x 250cc, 3 x 125cc)
World Championships: 2 (250cc, 2006/7)

Misano: Record Lap
V. Rossi (Yamaha) 2009, 1’34.746

Misano: Best Lap
C.Stoner (Ducati) 2008, 1’33.378

Grand Prix Results: Misano 2009
1. V. Rossi (Yamaha) 44’32.882
2. J. Lorenzo (Yamaha) +2.416
3. D.Pedrosa (Honda) +12.400