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Valentino Rossi will wait before committing to a new Yamaha MotoGP contract so he can see if he is motivated or would “prefer to stay at home on the sofa”.
The Italian’s current contract expires at the end of the 2018 season, as is the case for the majority of the MotoGP field – although his team-mate Maverick Vinales has already committed to an extension until ’20.
Rossi said he wanted to wait until the first few races of the season before making a decision on his future, but said he would need to decide if he still has the motivation to continue competing.
“Usually we speak always about two-year [contracts], but it can be also one,” said the 38-year-old. “Yamaha is open.
“I want to wait [to re-sign], especially for the test and maybe the first three races of the season.
“We are quite ready and I think we don’t have to discuss a lot about the contract, so we are positive, optimistic.
“We are not in a rush and I think that we will say something after the test days.
“The point is that I have to decide if I am still there, I have enough motivation to give 100%, to keep concentrating and train every day.
“Or [if] I prefer to stay at home on the sofa to see the races on the television, or to work with the young riders.
“This is the decision that I have to make if I want to continue or not.”
Rossi ‘curious’ about feeling of new bike
Following post-season testing at Valencia at the end of last year, Yamaha also completed private running at Sepang, which it used to compare its 2016 and ’17 chassis and find solutions to its bike’s tyre wear issues.
Rossi said he and team-mate Vinales had fed back similar information to Yamaha about how to develop the bike after that test.
“They were important tests, Valencia and especially Sepang because we could concentrate and compare the ’17 and ’16 bikes, but also another two chassis that we used during the season,” added Rossi.
“Me and Maverick had the same idea and I think that we have good information for Yamaha to make developments.
“Now we have to see if we can have a better feeling.
“I think that will be important, the first test, because with the old bike in the first test [in 2017] I didn’t feel very comfortable, so I’m curious to understand my feeling in Sepang.”