Valentino Rossi wants nothing less than a podium finish at this weekend’s Qatar MotoGP.
The Italian came out on top in the season-opener last year, but isn’t entirely convinced he’ll be able to pull off a repeat.
While Rossi’s 2016 YZR-M1 has been coming along nicely in the off-season, he faces some stiff competition this year, with a handful of riders showing serious pace in pre-season testing.
Nevertheless, he’s excited about the challenge ahead.
“Finally we start talking about racing! I’m very glad that a new season begins. Our tests were definitely positive, but the race is another thing,” Rossi said.
“During testing we’ve learned a lot about the new tyres and electronics, but there are many other things to discover and this first race will be really important to understand the real potential of the bikes and the riders.
“Last season for me began very well. I don’t know if I will be able to repeat that result but I will try to get on the podium for sure. It will be important to start to work well from the first sessions and get ready and have clear ideas going into the race.
“I feel ready and motivated and so does the team, so let’s go!”