The last time Valentino Rossi raced a Yamaha at Sepang, he won.

That was in the 2010 MotoGP race (pictured), towards the end of his first 'chapter' at Yamaha, after which Rossi endured two winless seasons at Ducati.

The Italian superstar returned to the M1 this year, and returned to the top step of the podium at Assen, one of five rostrums so far.

As well 2010, Rossi has celebrated Sepang victories in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2008 - making him the most successful rider at the circuit.

"The Sepang circuit is a track that I like a lot, I have had many great victories there," said seven time MotoGP champion Rossi, currently fourth in the world championship with four rounds to go.

"I think it suits the Yamaha quite well. It's very demanding physically because it's very hot, but it's also a great track and challenge because of this.

"I want to try to make a good weekend and work hard on the set-up to arrive competitively for the race on Sunday."

Rossi joined his MotoGP rivals for six days of official testing at Sepang in February, finishing third and fourth respectively.

But the M1 has been significant modified since - not least the introduction of a seamless shift gearbox.

"In Sepang we did two tests earlier in the season, as the other teams, but in the meantime the bikes have changed a lot," confirmed team director Massimo Meregalli. "Having good weather and good conditions will be important.

"It is also important not to make mistakes because the races are three in a row, and the points that we can collect are many. We expect to improve even more, to do better, with both riders [Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo]. We are ready for these three important weeks."

As well as the great memories for Rossi, Sepang was also the scene of his darkest career moment, the death of good friend Marco Simoncelli during the 2011 race.