2015 may be Valentino Rossi's 20th season in grand prix, but the opening round still feels like the 'first day at school' for the Italian superstar.

"The first race is always special, because you feel a little bit different. You feel the pressure, the adrenaline, like the first day at school," Rossi explained at Qatar's Losail circuit, venue for this weekend's season opener.

"From the tests you can already have some idea what will happen on a race weekend, but when it is for real the situation can be different. It looks like all the riders are very motivated, looks like it will be very tough. A lot of different bikes and different riders in a great shape and very, very close."

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At 36 years old, Rossi is now the oldest rider in MotoGP. But he was second only to Marc Marquez in last year's championship and fought with the Spaniard in Qatar for the last two seasons.

"The first year, the battle with Marc was very funny. Jorge was in front but I was able to beat Marc for second place. Last year, unfortunately Marc beat me when we fight for first place. But was a very fun race, I enjoy a lot. I like it very much," Rossi said.

"Also last year it was quite strange, because all the factory riders didn't come here for the test, so also have other riders very strong in the race. There was a big group all together, and I think that this is what everybody wants again from Sunday's race."