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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 March 2007, 08:29 GMT
Complacency cost me title - Rossi
By Julian Shea
BBC Sport in Jerez

Valentino Rossi
Rossi's fall at Valencia was the final twist in an amazing season
Italian star Valentino Rossi has admitted complacency played a part in him missing out on a sixth consecutive MotoGP world title last season.

His final-race crash handed Nicky Hayden the title and Rossi says that memory will inspire him when the 2007 season begins in Qatar on Saturday.

"Last year we made mistakes because we felt unbeatable," he told the BBC.

"To come second once is good, it makes you come back more focused. I have good motivation and don't want to stop."

Last season's finale, with world championship leader Hayden crashing out in the penultimate race in Portugal, only for Rossi to fall in the last race in Valencia, was the most dramatic in living memory.

But despite clawing back a 51-point deficit on Hayden, only to fall short in the final race, Rossi was quick to congratulate the Repsol Honda rider, and said he had not dwelt on the loss.

"Nicky put in a lot of effort to win the championship," he said.

"He had a great season, was always at a high level and didn't make any big mistakes. He is champion and I am happy for him.

"I was very upset, but I wasn't angry with anyone.

"Our target was to fight for the championship and in the last race we did that - but we lost.

"It was a big disappointment on the Sunday night, but it took me about 10 hours to get over it."

Rossi and Hayden
Rossi was quick to congratulate new champion Hayden

MotoGP's most successful and well-known participant signed a new two-year contract with Yamaha in the close season, quashing talk of a move to rallying or Formula One.

And Rossi said the prospect of trying to regain his title gave him all the motivation he needed to carry on.

"I want to fight with these guys because it is the best way for me to have fun," he said.

"I think there will be the same five contenders as last year - me, Nicky, Dani Pedrosa, Loris Capirossi and Marco Melandri, as they are the riders with most talent.

"But Casey Stoner and John Hopkins are very fast, so maybe it will be more than just the five. There are 18 races - it's a long, long season."

MotoGP coverage on the BBC
01 Feb 07 |  Motorbikes
Rossi scorches to new Jerez mark
25 Feb 07 |  Motorbikes
Rossi decides to stay with Yamaha
01 Feb 07 |  Motorbikes
New bike stirs up Rossi ambition
02 Dec 06 |  Motorbikes
Hayden claims shock world title
29 Oct 06 |  Motorbikes


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