2008 MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi insists that the two remaining rounds of the season, starting this weekend in Malaysia, are still important.

"These two races are so important, not for the championship, but anyway we have a good potential and I want to make two good results," said the Italian, who secured his eighth world title two races ago in Japan.

"I did some crucial tests [here at Sepang] on my new Bridgestone tyres in the winter, but the settings I use have changed a lot since then so it will still be a tough weekend.

"The weather could play a big part here and even though this is a difficult track it is always a pleasure to ride.

"Also at Valencia last year we had very, very bad luck [when an injured Rossi retired from the race with a technical problem] and I hope to get back on the podium this year.

"Then from Monday [after the Valencia race] we will start to use the 2009 prototype, because in Motegi we had rain on Monday and cancelled the test.

"It will be interesting to try and improve the bike for next season."

The Fiat Yamaha star has won eight of the 16 rounds so far this season.