Valentino Rossi insists he determined to 'have fun' at one of his favourite circuits as he heads to Phillip Island just days after wrapping up the MotoGP title last time out at Motegi.
Rossi sealed his sixth world title with a fine victory around the Japanese circuit at the weekend, but he doesn't have long to celebrate it before he travels south for the next round in Australia.
Nonetheless, the Italian is pleased to be returning to the high-speed Victoria circuit, labelling it as one of his favourite – and most successful – venues. Still, after winning the race in five consecutive years between 2001 and 2005, Rossi has failed to win the Australian Grand Prix for the last two seasons, a fact that he admits makes him 'sad'.
However, with the title wrapped up, Rossi states he is going to go all out for victory at the weekend knowing he has no pressure to shoulder.
“So it's been a couple of days and I am starting to get used to being world champion again; it is a truly wonderful feeling! On Sunday we had a great party with my team and my friends who had come out to the race, and then on Monday we were meant to test some things for the 2009 bike but the rain came and we had to cancel it.
“Now we have three more races, at tracks which I love, and I am so excited to be able to just have fun at all of them. As everyone knows Phillip Island is one of my favourite tracks, maybe the best of all, and it's an incredible feeling to race there.
“I have won there so many times in my career and losing for the last two years has made me sad so now I have one aim; to win! It's a special place, the fans are always fantastic and it's the home race for four of my team so I want to do it for them to thank them for their work this year.”