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Valentino Rossi outlines 2014 targets at Yamaha MotoGP launch

“This season is very important for me and the fact that we officially start the season here in Jakarta makes it even more special” - Valentino Rossi.
Valentino Rossi kicked off a crucial year by joining team-mate Jorge Lorenzo in unveiling the 2014 Yamaha MotoGP livery in Jakarta, Indonesia on Friday.

Like all of the factory riders, barring Cal Crutchlow, the Italian superstar is out of contract at the end of this season.

A winner of seven MotoGP titles and a record 80 races, the soon to be 35-year-old has said he will decide whether to continue in grand prix after the opening six events.

Rossi returned to Yamaha from Ducati last season, claiming his first race win since 2010 on the way to fourth in the championship. However Lorenzo, world champion Marc Marquez and Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa were often out of reach.

Rossi has changed crew chief for the first time since joining the premier-class in 2000 - from Jerry Burgess to Silvano Galbusera - as he seeks to get on terms with the leading trio.

"This season is very important for me and the fact that we officially start the season here in Jakarta makes it even more special," said Rossi. "I can't remember any previous unveiling by Yamaha made outside Europe, so today's event was special for several reasons.

"Yamaha deliberately decided to offer the Indonesian dealers the chance to host the unveiling of the 2014 M1 during their big annual meeting here in Jakarta and this is another sign of the increasing importance of the SE Asian market for the global business. I truly hope to be able to race here again, very soon, before it's too late!

"We unveiled the new livery for 2014 today; it's very nice, very elegant and has more white than last year. It's still very much in the Yamaha Factory style and I like it a lot.

"The expectations for the coming season are very high. My target is to try and do better than last year, be more competitive and fight for the podium every weekend. I am sure our bike will be very competitive again.

"It was already very good last year and Yamaha engineers were able to develop it further through the season therefore I expect a lot from my new M1 and I am sure it will get even better during the season."

Rossi will join his 2014 rivals on track for the first pre-season test at Sepang in Malaysia next month.

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January 17, 2014 3:55 PM

I would really like to see Yamaha put in some real effort to Rossi's title challenge this year. I believe he is still capable of winning a title. It seems slightly strange to me that the weekend Lorenzo was ****ed up from his injury, Rossi was suddenly looking really strong at Assen. Almost as if Yamaha knew Lorenzo wasn't capable of winning the race so put their efforts behind Rossi. I know that sounds like some conspiracy theory b.s. but he really did look back to his old self, then it all fell apart again as soon as Lorenzo was in better shape. I'm not sure anyone will match his achievements and if they do I really don't think it can be compared. Rossi had to battle with factory bikes as well as the satellite boys (when they were still allowed to win), the current factory guys have only a couple of real competitors. He has seen off just about every top rider at some point. Legend.


January 17, 2014 4:31 PM

Valentino Rossi is, and always will be a total legend, and for me, the best racer there has ever been !! The problem Valentino has now is getting to grips with technology and all the programming bikes are built around these days. Valentino could use his magic when bikes were just bikes and riders could control them fully, but now, a computer chip does it for them and Valentino's skill and ability are pretty much useless. Valentino Rossi has done unbelievable things on a bike and has nothing really to prove as he has been there, done it and is still selling the t-shirts !!! Racing a MotoGP bike now is nothing like it used to be, and riders now are nothing like the great Valentino Rossi and they never will be, they are a different breed altogether which seems a bit sad in a way, but that's what they call progress !

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