Jorge Lorenzo won the championship that year in the season-finale, a controversial race where era-defining rivalries boiled over.

Rossi needed to finish second to secure the title for himself but, while battling away in fourth, found his arch-nemesis Marc Marquez purposefully blocking his path and denying him another accolade.

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"I'm a bit sad that I didn't win the 10th title," Rossi was quoted by Motorsport-Total

"Especially because I think I deserved it because of my level and my speed. 

“I missed the title twice at the last race of a season. That's why I think I deserved a 10th."

"It is what it is. I don't think I can complain about the overall balance of my career."

As well as his 2015 heartbreak, Rossi fell short at the last race of the 2006 season in Valencia. Rossi fell, and eventually finished 13th, so missed out to Nicky Hayden.

The Italian, now 43, won seven premier class championships with Honda and Yamaha, plus a 250cc and two 125cc titles.

His earliest prizes, with Aprilia at 125cc, meant that the legendary Italian did succeed with a team from his home country.

Rossi on Ducati: "Regrets?"

But it was notoriously a different story when Rossi swapped Yamaha for Ducati, in 2011 and 2012, for two awful years. He would never win another title, even when he returned to Yamaha, suffering a 12-year drought to end his career.

Rossi said about going to Ducati: "Regretting something in the sense of a decision I made? I honestly don't. 

“Of course, the time with Ducati was a difficult one for me.

"It was a big challenge, me as an Italian rider on an Italian bike. If we had won, we would have made history.”

Ducati, last year, finally crowned their first world champion since Casey Stoner in 2007. Francesco Bagnaia became the first Italian premier class champion since Rossi in 2009, too.

Rossi’s fingerprints were all over Bagnaia’s glory - he is a VR46 graduate - finally a small piece of atonement for The Doctor.