found this & thought it was a good read.
Rossi fears for championship chances
By Jonathan Noble and Toby Moody Monday, June 25th 2007, 09:49 GMT
Valentino Rossi has conceded that he is a facing a more difficult task to fight back against Casey Stoner this year than he had last season when he nearly overhauled an ever bigger margin to Nicky Hayden.
The Fiat Yamaha rider saw Stoner extend his championship lead to 26 points with a dominant victory in the British Grand Prix, after tyre problems left him languishing in fourth place.
And although this time last year Rossi was facing an even bigger points disadvantage to Hayden before hauling it back, the Italian admits his challenge will be much harder this time around.
"For sure for me it is more difficult," said Rossi, who has won just two races so far this year. "But we have to understand the situation. Last year we had to fight against bad luck. This year we have to fight against a real rival."
Although a lot has been made of the fact that Stoner's points advantage means he is now more than one race win clear, Rossi thinks the real issue for him is the relative performance of his bike against the Ducati Marlboro.
"He has one race (points advantage). It is not very much. I am not very worried for the 26 points. I am more worried for our problems.
"For us to try and fight with him and beat him I need to ride like I want and at the maximum. But with this type of problem we always have to fight against other things, especially against our tyres."
Rossi thinks the fight for the MotoGP championship is now a straight two-way battle between himself and Stoner, but believes he will be out of it also if his tyre supplier Michelin does not make big steps forward over the next few weeks.
Speaking about whether Dani Pedrosa was still a contender, Rossi said: "If we have problems, then Pedrosa has bigger problems. We are in the same boat.
"It is very difficult to fight against Stoner this year because with different tyres, it is more difficult. Like in the past when (Loris) Capirossi had a good Bridgestone. For me, there was nothing to do."
And after a longer than normal post-race debrief at Donington Park last night, Rossi believes Fiat Yamaha and Michelin have to look to themselves to overcome shortcomings before they even think about how best to deal with Stoner's advantage.
"Before we try to think about the tactic we have to fix our problems. It is like this. We don't make mistakes in the race with the tyres or the setting. This was our potential. It was 21 seconds slower than Stoner-Bridgestone-Ducati.
"This is the big problem. We have to make a tactic for us before we make a tactic to beat him."