Sete Gibernau has admitted that, while enjoying his early supremacy in the MotoGP series, the pressure to reproduce last year’s victory at the circuit on a new machine is on.

Sete Gibernau has admitted that while enjoying his early supremacy in the MotoGP series, the pressure to reproduce last year’s victory at the circuit on a new machine is on.

Gibernau stepped into the role of world championship leader after the last race in Spain when he beat Max Biaggi to the flag. Currently, he lies one point ahead of Biaggi and three points ahead of reigning champion Valentino Rossi.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s clash, Gibernau said: “I’ve waited a long time to be in this situation and it feels good. Hopefully we can deal with the extra pressure it brings and have a good Grand Prix here.”

”I didn't used to like Le Mans but I won here last year and tested on the day after the race and decided I really like it. If it rains I won't be too disappointed because I have shown I can be very competitive in the wet, but I want to show that I can be just as competitive in the dry and, after some positive tests in Jerez after the race last week, I am confident we can do that."

Rival Rossi said the feels he could have a good chance to take top honours on Sunday, provided the weather holds up.

"Le Mans is definitely a Yamaha track, and I think we have a good chance there," he said. "It can be quite tricky there if the weather is bad, so I really hope we have a bit of luck and it's dry.”

Currently lying in seventh place overall, Rossi’s team-mate Carlos Checa will be keen to improve on his performance leading up to the French showdown.

"Le Mans is the kind of track we were always successful at with the two-strokes, but not so far with the four- strokes, and we hope to change that this year," Checa said.

Elsewhere in the paddock, rookie Shane Byrne is still receiving treatment for the broken bone in his hand. The British Superbike Champion sustained the injury when he crashed out of the wet race in Spain two weeks ago but insisted he would be giving 100 per cent this weekend.

"I'm not sure how it will react because the broken bone is just below my main braking finger and that could be awkward at a circuit with so many hard stopping zones," Byrne commented. "But once I get my gloves on and get out on the track I'm sure I won't think about it - I'm just desperate to score more points."

Original article from Car