Valentino Rossi said Thursday he was proud to be looking at the prospect of reaching his 200th MotoGP top-class podium at Brno this weekend -- but declined to stress out about it.
|Monster Energy Yamaha's Italian rider Valentino Rossi (R) and Aprilia Factory Racing's British rider Bradley Smith look back during the third MotoGP free practice session of the Andalucia Grand Prix at the Jerez race track in Jerez de la Frontera on July 25, 2020. (JAVIER SORIANO / AFP) |
"When you are older, you start to see the numbers and it's good, I'm proud," the Italian Yamaha rider said ahead of the Czech GP where he had won his maiden race in 1996.
"But for sure it's not the major motivation for me. It's just a number in the end," he told a video conference.
"I'm not here for the 200th podium, I'm here because I like motorcycle racing and I like the challenge, to try to stay at the top," added the 41-year-old veteran.
The seven-time MotoGP world champion earned his 199th podium in the top class after finishing third at Jerez two weeks ago, his first podium finish since the United States last year.
"I enjoyed the weekend, being back on the podium after a longer time and a difficult period was a great feeling," Rossi said.
"So it's very important if I can also be strong here (in Brno). The track is great, I have always liked it but in the last years with Yamaha we have suffered a bit," he added.
The Brno race will be held behind closed doors within measures taken to stem the coronavirus spread which has wreaked havoc on the MotoGP calendar for this season, with only 13 confirmed events and all those outside Europe cancelled.