Valentino Rossi isn't getting misty eyed over the possibility of winning this year's MotoGP title.

The Italian starts the second half of the season at Indianapolis this weekend holding a 13-point lead over Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo.

If he can hold on to his advantage by Valencia, it will mean the oldest - and most popular - rider on the grid finally claims the tenth grand prix title he has been chasing since 2009.

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"First of all I am very happy to be here fighting for the championship because it's been a long time that I didn't win, since 2009, and I passed through some difficult moments - bad injuries and also the difficult seasons without good results with the Ducati," Rossi said.

"I think that after coming back to Yamaha, step-by-step I was able to be stronger and stronger. It's a great season because there are a lot of riders that are very fast, so the level is so high. But yes I'm first of all happy and I will try to the end."

Given everything he has gone through, would this year's title be his most important?

"No," Rossi declared. "Because 2001 was the last championship with the 500 two-stroke and it was a dream for me when I was very young to ride the 500, so I think that remains very important. And also 2004, the first season with Yamaha is good. So difficult to say."

Asked what has been unique about this season, Rossi picked out the three-way rivalry involving not only Lorenzo but reigning champion Marc Marquez. The Repsol Honda star is back in winning form after earlier woes, but sits 65 points from Rossi.

"First of all it's difficult because we have still not just two riders but three and also Iannone is in front of Marc in the points," he said. "All the top riders have great experience and don't have any real weak points, or bad tracks. Jorge and Marc are very strong and very fast in all the tracks. I also need to work in qualifying because a lot of times I wasn't strong enough. So it's quite difficult but also funny."