Valentino Rossi has said it took him two weeks at home, doing nothing, to recover from the 'big disappointment' of narrowly losing out in a hotly contested MotoGP championship battle with team-mate Jorge Lorenzo.
Majorcan Lorenzo won the title by five points after the now infamous incident in Sepang between Rossi and Marc Marquez resulted in a penalty, which caused the Italian to start the final race of the year from the back of the grid.
While, in Rossi's eyes, the race in Valencia was won in controversial circumstances, with the Yamaha man subsequently stating that Marquez had aided Lorenzo in his quest for a third premier class title, the nine-time world champion said the Monza rally in late November helped him 'to think of the future.'
“At the beginning the first period after the race in Valencia was the most difficult thing,” said Rossi as he fielded questions from the English-speaking media at Movistar Yamaha's team launch in Barcelona. “The first two weeks back home was the most difficult moment. The disappointment was very big. But [I did] nothing special. I stayed at home and relaxed to wait for this feeling to go away.
“For my winter it was very important the Rally of Monza because I stayed two weeks at home. Then I had to restart for another race and that's what I needed. To drive and enjoy. Sincerely that weekend was the disappointment finished and I started to think of the future.”
In the main presentation, Rossi spoke of the need to give “a great effort to stay at the same level as the last two years” but later revealed that other than fine-tuning some details, his preparation for the upcoming test in Sepang will couple cardio work and his usual on-track activities at his ranch in Italy.
“We always try to make the normal things at the gym, the normal preparation. Like the cardio because it will be very hot in Malaysia. But the target is to arrive ready for the first race, not now. We have a bit of time.
“Apart from the normal training we try/do use the motorcycle, to do some different things, to improve the control on the bike, to control the slides. It looks like we always try to improve the small details but for the rest it is the same.
“What we tried to do with the bike is something more general. The riding style with the Michelin will be different. It's very difficult to make something special for that. The best training is to go on the M1 with the Michelin because it's very difficult to recreate the same conditions with a different bike.”
Looking ahead to 2016, a year in which all riders will switch to Michelin tyres and spec Magneti Marelli electronic software, Rossi feels that his main competitors will be the same. However, in his opinion, other riders and manufacturers – like Suzuki – “can come closer.”
“First of all I want to say that the most difficult riders to beat always are Lorenzo, Marquez and [Dani] Pedrosa. But I think that with these new rules the other guys with the satellite riders and other factories, like the Suzuki and other smaller teams, can come closer. Maybe the fight will not be just our four. Also there could be more riders.”
Before Christmas Rossi also dropped his appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport for his grid penalty in Valencia. It was, he said, futile in continuing the process after the outcome of the title could not be reversed.
“Our objective was to not start last in Valencia. That was important for me. When this possibility was delayed it's not important to continue for me to take one point less. They said to us 'No' for Valencia and I had no interest to continue.”