Valentino Rossi says 2014 was ‘key’ to 2015 MotoGP future

Valentino Rossi says consistently fighting at the front of the MotoGP field during the 2014 season was “key” to his decision to remain in the championship.

After changing his crew chief over the winter, Rossi went on to finish runner-up to Repsol Honda’s Marc Márquez with two victories and 11 further podiums.

Halfway through the campaign, Rossi signed a two-year contract extension with Yamaha, tying him to the Japanese manufacturer until 2016.

“I am very happy about my performance this season,” said Rossi, who returned to Yamaha in 2013 after two challenging years at Ducati.

“For me this was the key season to decide my future. Last year I wasn’t very happy and I had to decide whether to continue or not.

“My target was to get to the front, fight with the top three riders and aim to get onto the podium every race. Last year this wasn’t always possible. I am happy that I was able to make it happen this year.

“I’ve made some big changes at the beginning of the season, but these have worked and I’m happy for that. Throughout this season I’ve always been strong in the race. I had good races and good battles.”

Rossi added that he still believes a 10th world title is possible, but admits Márquez and team-mate Jorge Lorenzo will be tough to overcome.

“I still believe in it,” he explained. “After this year even more because we are there at the front.

“We are really close to our rivals, but it will be difficult. Lorenzo will be stronger next year and Márquez won the world title by winning 13 races against my two. This means he won 11 more than me. The difference is huge.

“To fill this gap we have to work even better with the team, with Silvano, and also work hard with Yamaha to give us a hand.” (GPUpdate)

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