Rossi seeks end to GP drought
'WILL I WIN A RACE?' Valentino Rossi aims for 80th career win and first in two years at the upcoming 2013 French MotoGP. Image - Quickpic
LE MANS, France - Nine-times World champion Valentino Rossi wants an 80th career MotoGP win at the French Grand Prix this weekend - and to end his 2013 win drought.
The Yamaha star is fourth in the 2013 World hampionship, 18 points behind leader Honda's Marc Marquez, and experiencing a drought with his 79th and most recent win at the Malaysian GP in October 2010 - before he switched to his unsuccessful two-year spell at Ducati.
'LE MANS GOOD FOR ME'
His career statistics are still beyond the reach of his title rivals. Dani Pedrosa, the Honda rider who won in Jerez last time out, is next on the list of top winners on 23.
Rossi, who has won the Le Mans race three times, said: "Le Mans is a good track for me> In the last two years I was able to arrive on the podium in dry and in wet conditions. We hope to do the same and also better with Yamaha because this is a good track for the bike. In Le Mans the weather will be very important, because usually the weather is quite bad.
"It can be cold and wet, we will see. We will have to work well to understand the weather and the conditions of the track. We will try to do the maximum as always." (Wheels24's weather forecast says 50% rain Friday and Saturday and none on Sunday.)
Rossi was second at the circuit in 2012 and third in 2011, performances which represented his best rides during his ill-fated stay at Ducati. So fr in 2013 he's been in the shadow of World champion team mate Jorge Lorenzo who captured the season-opener in Qatar and is third on the log.
Lorenzo is a triple winner at Le Mans, including in 2012 when victory was achieved in torrential rain. Marquez, who graduated to MotoGP from Moto2 in 2013, admits the practice sessions will be key to his chances.
'HAVEN'T DONE TESTS'
Marquez, winner in Texas in April 2013, said: "We go to Le Mans and again we arrive there starting from zero, as I haven't done any tests there but I'll do my best and I'll try to make the most of the situation.
"I hope it doesn't rain so we can prepare the bike on a dry track; this is very important to find the right set-up."
Pedrosa, meanwhile, has tasted victory at the famous French track - but only in the 125cc and 250cc classes.