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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 06-27-2006, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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Camel Yamaha Previews Donington


The Camel Yamaha Team head for the third race in as many weekends looking to end a gruelling run of races on a high as the MotoGP World Championship arrives in Great Britain this weekend. Following on from the elation of victory at Catalunya and the double disappointment of an injury for Valentino Rossi and a final-bend crash for Colin Edwards at Assen, the Donington Park race represents an ideal opportunity for both riders to bounce back before a well earned two-week break.

Rossi, in particular, is in desperate need of a boost after conceding further ground to Nicky Hayden (Honda) at the top of the World Championship standings. The Italian fought bravely to eighth place despite riding with cracked bones in his hand and foot at the Dutch TT, but crucially he now trails the American by 46 points in the championship. Rossi has won seven times in all classes at Donington Park, one of his favourite MotoGP circuits, but a return to the top step of the podium will be a huge challenge as he battles to recover his fitness and as many points as possible.

Edwards is sure to be given a hero’s welcome by his army of British fans, thousands of whom cheered him to the verge of his first MotoGP victory just across the North Sea at Assen last Saturday. The British Grand Prix ranks equally with the Dutch TT as Edwards’ most successful event in the premier-class, having finished second there two years ago and narrowly missing the podium last year, so he has high hopes that he can bounce back from that disappointment with another top performance.

There is a slight change to the order of the races this weekend, with the main event taking place after the 250cc race but before the 125cc race. The red lights will go out for the MotoGP riders at 1pm local time, although this will not affect the regular schedule for fans around the world since it still coincides with the standard starting time of 2pm CET.


MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi returns to his country of residence this weekend keeping the fingers on his good hand crossed that he will be in sufficiently good shape to challenge at the front of the field once again. The Italian left Assen on Saturday evening with his physiotherapist Marco Montanari, who will remain by his side for the rest of the week as he tries to recover as much strength as possible before the crucial ninth round of an intriguing championship.

“We have a lot of work to do to improve the situation with my wrist and try to reduce the swelling and heal the bone as much as possible,” explains Rossi. “It would be better to have a month now to recover but we are racers and we have to go straight to the next race, which is a pity. Anyway I hope we can improve it as much as possible so that I can ride well at Donington. For sure I won't be at full fitness, but we have five days to improve. Colin showed that the bike is working really well so hopefully it will be like this at Donington also for both of us.

“Donington is like a second home Grand Prix for me and I hope the fans give me all the usual support because I need all the help I can get right now. It has been one of my favourite tracks ever since I rode the 125 there for the first time in 1996 and I have a lot of good memories – especially my first win with the 500 in 2001 and victories with Yamaha for the last two years. It’s going to be a big challenge for me to stand on the top of the podium on Sunday, but as long as my hand continues to improve throughout the week, then I think we can try!”


The British Grand Prix can’t come soon enough for Colin Edwards, who heads to another of his favourite tracks looking to bury his Assen nightmare with that elusive first MotoGP win. The amiable American refuses to dwell on the final corner calamity that denied him a visit to the top step of the podium in Holland as he looks on the positive side of a weekend that should provide the platform to another bid for the winners’ champagne in England.

“I can’t deny that I’m still disappointed after what happened at Assen, but now I have to put that behind me and focus on Donington, which is one of my best tracks and a place I have always gone well,” says Edwards. “I have to forget about what happened at the end of the race in Assen and focus on the fact that my bike worked perfectly all weekend, I was consistently fast and I was able to do a really great race up to the last chicane.

“Now we have to hope that the situation is the same at Donington because my aim is to go out there and get my revenge! I want to make up for the disappointment for the team and my fans, and give them something to cheer about again. I always have loads of fans in the UK, a lot of them were there for me at Assen so let’s hope they’re all back to cheer me on again this weekend.”

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