Valentino Rossi has said that his burning desire to win races will not begin to fade as he gets older.
The 37-year-old secured his first win of the 2016 season and his 73rd MotoGP victory overall at Jerez on Sunday when he held off the challenge of Spaniards Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez.
While he was delighted to have triumphed at Jerez, Rossi admitted that it is much harder to win races nowadays as he is much older than a lot of the other riders.
However, Rossi, who recently signed a new two-year deal with Movistar Yamaha which will keep him with the team until he is 39, sees himself competing in MotoGP into his 40s.
“It’s more difficult, yes. It’s more effort, more training, but you can ride in MotoGP minimum to 40 years,” he told reporters. “The difference is the motivation. It’s what you feel. If you want to try to win, to try to continue.
“It’s more difficult for sure because 20 years ago it was more easy to make everything, but I feel not so bad.”
Despite tasting success over the weekend, Rossi is not getting carried away as he knows how quickly things can change.
“Races have a different story week by week. Maybe in 10 days, everything is different,” he said. “It remains a great victory, but maybe ask me again in two weeks.”
Rossi currently sits in third place on the MotoGP standings and trails leader Marquez by 24 points. He is seven points behind the second-placed Lorenzo.