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August 9th, 2011
Valentino Rossi says he has been re-energised by the summer break, as he looks to Brno to help re-establish Ducati’s fight back against the established Moto GP order.
The Italian has struggled with the Ducati bike this year, most recently finishing 30s down on race winner Casey Stoner despite set-up improvements at Laguna Seca.
With an official Monday test following the race weekend however, Brno will offer Rossi and his team a chance to continue progressing the 2012 bike as they bid to close the gap to Honda and Yamaha.
“After Laguna I took a few days of vacation, enough to recharge the batteries following an intense period,” Rossi said.
“Now we’ll spend a nice mid-August at Brno, and during both the race weekend and the Monday test we’ll continue concentrating on the bike’s setup, with the goal of reducing the gap to the lead group.”
Rossi refrained from setting targets for the Czech Republic weekend, but did say he was looking forward to racing on a circuit which holds special memories for him.
“I like the track not only because I’ve always gone well there, but also because it’s a special place for me since its where I earned my first pole, my first win and my first world championship.
“It’s very nice, wide and fast and I’m always happy to go there.”
Rossi’s team-mate Nicky Hayden said that everyone at the team was working to their maximum as he looked forward to getting a taste of Ducati’s 2012 challenger on the Monday test.
“It’s clear that everyone at Ducati is doing the maximum so we’ll go there and try to get a good result,” the American said.
“Obviously the test on Monday will be really important for us, and I’ll probably just ride the GP11 on the race weekend and then test the new bike on Monday.
“We know it won’t be easy, but we’ve just got to keep chipping away.”