Rossi returns to happy hunting ground Down Under

Fri Oct 16, 2015 3:54am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - The breathtaking renaissance of Valentino Rossi may be traced back to his last visit to Australia, so it is fitting that the Italian MotoGP great can all but seal an eighth premier class championship at Phillip Island on Sunday.

Yamaha rider Rossi will make his 328th Grand Prix start at the picturesque seaside circuit, drawing level with retired record-holder and fellow Italian Loris Capirossi.

The championship has been reduced to a two-horse race between Rossi and team mate Jorge Lorenzo with three rounds to go and 18 points separating the riders.

The gap is handy but 36-year-old Rossi was reluctant to start calculating the potential results he would need to seal a magic eighth title to match the record of another Italian champion, Giacomo Agostini.

"It's quite impossible (to predict)," Rossi said this week.

"In three races, we will have completely different conditions, three different types of tracks, so I never do these types of calculation -- 99 percent of the time, it doesn't happen.

"We need to concentrate on Phillip Island and try to arrive in front of Jorge. This is the target, rather than making the calculation to arrive behind."

Rossi returns to Phillip Island to defend what seemed the most unlikely of race titles.   Continued...

Yamaha MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi of Italy blocks his ears during free practice 1 before the Australian Grand Prix on Phillip Island October 16, 2015. REUTERS/Brandon Malone