Valentino Rossi doesn't think his broken leg made much difference in terms of his MotoGP championship position.

The Italian star was fourth in the standings, 26 points from Andrea Dovizioso and 17 from current leader Marc Marquez, when the injury occurred on an enduro bike after Silverstone.

Rossi was forced to miss Misano (sacrificing a maximum of 25 points) then finished fifth on an early return at Aragon, before Yamaha's persistent wet weather woes saw both The Doctor and team-mate Maverick Vinales struggle badly at Motegi.

Rossi fell in the Japanese race, his third non-score of the season, while Vinales crept home in ninth.

Then came a podium return at Phillip Island and Rossi starts this weekend's penultimate Sepang round back to fourth in the standings; 81 points from Marquez, 48 from Dovizioso and 31 from Vinales.

"For me, not a lot better," answered Rossi, when asked where he thinks he would be in the world championship without the broken leg.

"Because we have too much problem - I have too much problem - during this season and, like when we spoke before Silverstone, I already said I was not strong enough to fight for the championship.

"So realistically speaking, also if I don’t break the leg, I cannot fight for the championship. I was not strong enough."

Yamaha - which is thought to have tried five different chassis designs to address handling and rear grip issues this season - has been winless since Rossi's victory at Assen, with either Marquez (Honda) or Dovizioso (Ducati) taking victory in the eight races since.

The nine-time world champion added that he has not yet thought about his future beyond 2018, when his current contract expires: "I will decide after some races next year".

Rossi, 38, will start Sunday's race from fourth on the grid.


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