Valentino: my toughest title win

Valentino Rossi won his sixth MotoGP title in Japan yesterday - then claimed that it will be even more difficult to win a seventh next year.

Quotes from the BBC article:

Valentino Rossi said his 2008 MotoGP title win was more difficult than his five previous triumphs, but warned that "it will be more difficult" next year.

"I think I have put more effort than in other years in trying to win the title. It was a long season with a lot of battles - next year is another story."

Victory at Motegi - his fifth straight win this season - ensured Rossi wrapped up the title with three races to go.

He won the 125cc and 250cc crowns before taking the 500cc/MotoGP elite class crown from 2001 to 2005, but Nicky Hayden and Casey Stoner were champions in the last two seasons as Yamaha struggled.

"It was very important that I learned to lose in those two years. I have become stronger," Rossi added.

"I was focused on the target all year, but Yamaha did a great job with a great bike, the Bridgestone tyres worked very well and I think we deserved the championship.

"It was a great fight this year with Stoner, he was a great rival and very difficult to beat."

Famed for his post-race celebratory stunts, Rossi celebrated his eighth world title in total with a t-shirt saying "Sorry for the delay", referring to his two-year wait for a win, and also a reference to his recent troubles with the Italian tax authorities over unpaid bills.

Now aged 29, Rossi is under contract to Yamaha for two more years and is showing no sign of quitting just yet.

"I think I have some important goals in the next two years. I'll try to win more for Yamaha," he said.

"I have never had a problem with motivation in my career."