MotoGP Brno Preview

Rossi and Stoner ready to battle again

By Motorcycle.com Staff, Aug. 15, 2008
For the first time since their thrilling battle at Laguna Seca, Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner will face off at the Automotodrom Brno circuit in the Czech Republic on Sunday, August 17.

Rossi capitalized on a rare accident by Stoner to claim his first win on American soil and stretch his lead in the season standings to 25 points.

The key moment in the race came on lap 24 as Stoner ran wide on the final corner and dipped into the gravel. He was able to remount and continue, but Rossi was out of reach.  After the race, the Ducati Marlboro rider criticized Rossi’s aggression on the corners and refused to shake his hand. Rossi, as one would expect, saw things differently

“About the passes, I am sorry that Casey thinks some of them were a bit strong but I really don’t agree,” the Fiat Yamaha rider said after the race. “I passed only on the brakes, I braked in the same places every time and we never touched. Of course this was an aggressive race, but it was definitely a fair one.”

You can check out video highlights of the race for free on the official MotoGP website.

Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner are 1-2 in the MotoGP standings.With Laguna Seca now just a memory, Stoner is ready to get back on his bike and try to cut into Rossi’s lead. At a press conference leading up to the Brno race the pair shook hands and appeared to put the incident behind them.

“Like all riders we react the way that we do sometimes,” says Stoner. “Maybe we over-reacted, I am going to hopefully just be putting up more of a fight in the last few laps this time, whereas I ran off and crashed at the last race. It would be nice if I can put pressure on right up until the last lap.

“Brno is a nice track but it's demanding too - a bit like Mugello and Phillip Island, two of my favorites. In 250 I was on the podium and last year we won, so with the bike performing as it has been lately we should be able to fight for a good result again. We've still got quite a few points to make up in the championship, which won't be easy, but the whole team are working so hard and we'll give it our best shot. After that, whatever will be, will be”

Rossi is looking to perform better than he did at Brno last year, where he finished a disappointing seventh. This year, however, he says he’s going to Brno in a different frame of mind as championship leader.

“I know that Brno is going to be hard and that Casey will be a formidable competitor once again, and we’re going to have to work at the maximum from the first practice in order not to lose any time in finding out the right set-up for our bike,” says Rossi. “We have seven races left and I am dreaming of them all being as fun as Laguna Seca!”

Related Reading:
Rossi edges Stoner at Laguna Seca
2008 Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Laguna Seca