Soon after clinching his 5th MotoGP title in career, the Italian admitted that there were times last year that made him wonder if he is ever going to win a race in the near future. His lack of pace, combined with personal problems and a few in-season injuries had then contributed to one of the poorest MotoGP finishes in his entire career.
“Last year at Laguna Seca, Brno and even here at Misano I was wondering if I still have it in me to win. I was very sad since I wasn't winning a race in quite some time,” admitted Rossi in an interview for Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport.
The Italian also insisted that his failure to defend his MotoGP crown in 2006 – ahead of Honda's Nicky Hayden – was more the result of poor mechanics and inefficient tires rather than his shunt in Valencia. While leading Hayden in the standings with one race to go, Rossi fell off his bike in the early laps of the Valencia Grand Prix and was unable to recover the point-difference until the finish line.
“I was feeling very bad 3 or 4 days before the race, but in the weekend I thought I'd gotten over it. Anyway, I lost that title more because of the tires and the poor mechanics rather than the fall in Valencia. Last year we were just too slow. If it hadn't rained at Motegi, I may have managed to keep the title race alive for a few more rounds,” added Rossi.
In the end, Rossi revealed some of his plans for the future. Despite many sources link him with a move to Formula 1 or the World Rally Championship, the 5-time MotoGP champion assured his fans that he will be competing inside the FIM World Championship for at least 2 more seasons: “I have closed the first chapter of my career. Here comes the second. I'll race for two more years and then we'll see what's next.”