Italian Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi puts his helmet on prior to the first training session of the Moto Grand Prix of Germany at the Sachsenring Circuit on June 30, 2017 in Hohenstein-Ernstthal, eastern Germany. / AFP PHOTO / Robert MICHAEL (Photo credit should read ROBERT MICHAEL/AFP/Getty Images)

Yamaha Racing's Valentino Rossi is looking forward to stepping aboard his YZR-M1 again this weekend at the hilly circuit of Brno. Currently in fourth place, just ten points behind the championship leader, the Doctor has all to play for at a track where he holds a stunning record.

The nine-time World Champion secured his first ever 125cc win at the Czech Republic track in 1996. This was followed by a 250cc win in 1999, a 500cc victory in 2001 and modern era premier class Brno victories in 2003, 2005, 2008 and 2009. All combined, he stood on the podium there 14 times, including the two consecutive third places in 2014 and 2015 and a second place last year, making him a tough contender to bet against.

The Doctor did take the time to rest over the summer break, but his focus was never too far from the task at hand, winning the 2017 world championship…

“I‘ve rested during these holidays. I've passed a lot of time with my friends, but I returned to training and preparing myself as soon as possible and I feel good,” he said. “I trained at the gym and on the bike, but now I want to go back to my M1 and work together with my team. "

"The championship is still wide open and we will have to work hard to be always on the podium. Brno's is a track I really like, I have a lot of good memories of this circuit and I hope I can make it another nice race this weekend. It will be important to be quick from the first session!”

The first motorcycle racing event in Brno took place in 1930, while the first Grand Prix was held there in 1965. Racers would ride 500cc bikes through the villages and western parts of the city on a 13.94km road track, until the new circuit was built during the 1980s. In 1987 the 5.4km Automotodrom track (six left corners, eight right corners) hosted its first FIM Czech Grand Prix, which became popular with both fans and riders thanks to its great atmosphere and location.

The natural bowl in which the circuit is situated, offers spectators a perfect view of the action as the second half of the season kicks off.