Reigning MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi has revealed that a tenth world title would be no more important than the nine he currently has - and that he will retire when he can no longer battle for victory.
“Yes, ten is a good number, but we have nine already,” shrugged the Italian superstar. “It would be another championship like a lot in the past and every one has its own different story.”
Rossi - a 125cc, 250cc and seven time MotoGP champion - already holds the all-time record for premier-class race wins (77) and podiums (128). The Yamaha rider now needs only one more MotoGP title to tie Agostini's record of eight premier-class crowns.
But Agostini remains comfortably clear in terms of titles across all grand prix classes (15) and Rossi claims Ago's other overall record of 122 grand prix wins is still out of reach.
“Agostini's record is more than a target, it is a dream,” insisted The Doctor, who won six races last season and will start his 15th world championship season, at Qatar on April 11, with 103 victories to his credit.
Rossi, who celebrated his 31st birthday on February 16th, believes he can stay at the top of his game for two or three more years - but declared he will quit once he feels he is no longer capable of fighting for the championship.
“I hope I am still at my best and that I haven't started to decline yet. I think if my motivation stays the same and my body stays the same then it will be possible to make another two or three more years in MotoGP,” stated Rossi, whose present contract expires at the end of 2010.
“But anyway it depends on my results because, I am Valentino Rossi, I have won a lot of races and a lot of titles. So if I stay in MotoGP it is to try to win,” he explained. “When I understand it is not possible to do that then I know it is time to stay at home and work in the garden!”
Having been fastest during both days of the first 2010 MotoGP test at Sepang earlier this month, Rossi probably won't be gardening any time soon.