Valentino Rossi believes the secret to his MotoGP revival was to recognise how badly he still wants to be 'part of the game' - and forget his past victories.

Rossi claimed 13 podiums, including two wins, on his way to finishing runner-up in this year's world championship.

It marked the Italian superstar's best performance since lifting his seventh premier-class crown back in 2009.

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"I think the secret is to understand that you still want to be part of the game," the 35-year-old explained. "To do so, you have to forget all the victories you've managed to get in the previous years and have a great humility.

"You also need to realise that, if you want to go on, you have to work hard. If you dwell too much on your past successes and say 'well, I have won nine world titles and more than 100 races', you'd rather stay home.

"The sport, your rivals, the tyres, your motorcycle, everything changes so instead you need to work more to be stronger. If you don't, you're finished."

Rossi, pictured arriving at the end-of-season FIM Awards, repeated that the 2014 success has raised his hopes of challenging for a tenth world title.

"I still believe in it, as I always said," he declared. "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 Marquez 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 [Galbusera, new crew chief for 2014], and also work hard with Yamaha to give us a hand.

"I think this year, especially at the beginning, Honda was much more competitive than our bike and the first half of the season was too easy for Marc. If we want to make life difficult for him, it's necessary to be closer to him."

Honda's Marquez finished 67 points clear of top Yamaha rider Rossi by the end of this year.

Rossi is contracted to Yamaha until at least the end of 2016, a year that will see Michelin replace Bridgestone as exclusive tyre supplier and a control ECU become mandatory.