Valentino Rossi has vowed to make a decision on his future in MotoGP early next season.

The nine-time world champion’s current contract with the Movistar Yamaha team concludes at the end of 2018 and Rossi says he will weigh up his prospects after the first few races of the year.

Speaking at the pre-race press conference at Valencia in Spain ahead of this weekend’s final round of the championship, Rossi – who will turn 39 in February – said: “I think [will make a decision] after the first part of some races next year because at the end of next season the contract finishes.

“So I have to see my speed, if we are competitive and able to make some good work with the bike. After some races we can speak with Yamaha and decide if we continue or not.”

The Doctor’s hopes of challenging for the MotoGP title were ended this season after he suffered a broken leg in a training accident, which ruled him out of Misano.

However, the Italian is fourth in the standings, 29 points behind team-mate Maverick Vinales with one race to go. The factory Yamaha riders have struggled with the M1 in recent races, particularly in the wet, and Rossi admits he has yet to find a solution to the problems with his team.

“A difficult season, some good races, but also a lot of difficult weekends. We are struggling a lot essentially at this moment and we don’t understand very well the way to fix,” he said.

“In the last two races in Phillip Island and also Sepang, in the dry I was quite strong and I feel quite good with the bike. We will see but usually Valencia is always a difficult track, very tricky, but the forecast is positive for the weekend and this is very positive because on the wet we are struggling very much. We have to wait and try to understand the right way.”

Asked for his assessment of the title battle between Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso, which has gone down to the final race, Rossi said Marquez is in control of his own destiny with a healthy cushion of 21 points.

“The situation is quite clear: you cannot do a lot of calculations because the difference in the points is quite big, so Dovi has just one way, to try to win. Marc can control but you have to see, wait for Sunday and understand your level, and see what happens.”



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