Valentino Rossi has put the disappointment of 2015 behind him ahead of a renewed challenge for a tenth world motorcycle title in 2016.
Nine-time champion Rossi enjoyed his best season in years to head the standings for much of 2015, only to lose out to Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo in turbulent circumstances at the last race of the year in Valencia.
At 36, Rossi regularly faces questions about his motivation and commitment to MotoGP, but the Italian is determined to banish the disappointment of last year and fight for the title in 2016.
“The end of last year was quite difficult, but at the end I am happy with the 2015 season because I enjoyed it a lot and I could fight for the championship through the whole season to the last race,” Rossi said at the launch of Yamaha’s new MotoGP bike.
“This is just the past, from today we start with a new season from the beginning, it will be hard but we will try to stay at the same level.
“I have the passion and I have still the motivation to continue because I still love it. It all depends also on the results, as I have to be competitive.
“It is good this moment of the season as you always have that feeling – the moment of excitement for the new bike – so it is always interesting.”
The 2016 MotoGP season kicks off in Qatar on March 20.