Home GP for Valentino Rossi and new team-mate Dovizioso
Second of two back-to-back races for Valentino Rossi; Andrea Dovizioso to make PETRONAS Yamaha SRT debut at SanMarinoGP
This weekend will see PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team’s Valentino Rossi joined by new team-mate Andrea Dovizioso for the Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini – a home GP for the pair of them.
Living just 10 kilometres away from the Misano circuit, this weekend’s GP is a true home race for Rossi. In addition to it being the place where he rode a big bike for the first time, it is also a happy hunting ground for the Italian, who has racked up a total of three wins, six podium finishes and one pole position in the premier class.
After a difficult weekend in Aragon last time out, Valentino will be hoping that he will be able to put on a good show at the SanMarinoGP for his home fans. Rossi currently sits 21st in the riders’ standings with 28 points.
After nearly 10 months away, Dovizoso will make his return to the MotoGP championship this weekend, as he takes the place of Franco Morbidelli – who has moved to Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – for the remaining five races of the season. Although the primary focus for ‘Dovi’ this weekend will be to start getting up to speed with his Yamaha machinery, the Italian will be looking forward to making his racing return at his home circuit – where he won in 2018 and finished on the podium in 2017.
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Rossi and Dovizioso’s home GP will get underway at 9.55am local time (3.55pm MYT) on Friday with FP1, while Sunday’s 27-lap MotoGP race will bring the SanMarinoGP to a conclusion at 2pm local time (8pm MYT).
Valentino Rossi: “I’m looking forward to this weekend’s race because not only is it a home Grand Prix, Misano is my home track and it’s only ten kilometres from my house in Tavullia. It’s a special place for me because it was where I rode a big bike on track for the first time, and it’s a feeling that I can never forget.
It’s a difficult track, and also a physical one, but it’s somewhere that I really love and enjoy. We did have consistent pace at Aragon during the Free Practice sessions but we couldn’t also show this in qualifying and the race, so hopefully this weekend will be even better for us.”
Andrea Dovizioso: “The level this year is so high and everyone’s times are so tight, but I’m going into these final five rounds with no pressure. I think it will take a bit of time to get used to the bike and adapt my riding style to the Yamaha. You can’t change these things overnight, but I’m really happy that I have these five races to see what I can do.
I have no goals in terms of results, for me the important things are to have a good feeling with the bike and to understand it. Of course, if I can be in the top-ten then that would be great, but we’ll see. Overall I’m just happy to be back in MotoGP, for it to be with PETRONAS Yamaha SRT and that my first GP will be a home race.”
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