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MotoGP descended on Shanghai International Circuit on Thursday for the fourth round of the 2008 season and the fourth staging of the Chinese event, at the state-of-the-art venue which is rated as one of the best in the world.

Warm temperatures welcomed arrivals to the Shanghai paddock on Thursday morning ahead of Sunday's Pramac Grand Prix of China, with the sun shining through typically hazy skies at the circuit on the outskirts of the vast Chinese metropolis. Worries are however that the forecasted rain will arrive, and the race could be ridden in the wet.

The traditional 4pm preview press conference saw Casey Stoner (Ducati Marlboro), Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha), Shinya Nakano (San Carlo Honda Gresini), Toni Elias (Alice Team) and Colin Edwards (Tech 3 Yamaha) field the questions from the media.

MotoGP's current standings leader Lorenzo commented, ‘In 250cc here last year I got the pole position, I won the race and I did the fastest lap. It’s a really fast circuit with the longest straight in the world and also has the slowest corner, so it’s a strange but I like it because it’s very wide so there is room to overtake.’

Stoner, meanwhile, added, ‘Things haven’t gone well in these last couple of rounds, but I started well in Qatar, preseason testing was good and I’m expecting to pick the pace up again for the next few races.’

Earlier in the day, at a special Oriental-style pre-event, Chris Vermeulen (Rizla Suzuki) and James Toseland (Tech 3 Yamaha) enjoyed a boat trip along the Huangpu river in the centre of Shanghai.

A press conference and autograph session on the boat was also attended by
Red Bull KTM’s 250cc championship leader Mika Kallio, Metis Gilera’s Marco Simoncelli, Jack & Jones WRB’s 125cc series leader Simone Corsi and Belson Derbi’s Joan Olive, the group of riders all enjoying the sights and sounds of Shanghai before the action commences on Friday morning.

Return from SHANGHAI SUNSHINE GREETS MOTOGP IN FAR EAST to the Motorcycle Parts home page

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