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Rossi eyes Agostini’s record

Valentino Rossi could delay a possible switch to rallying after a ninth motorcycling world title failed to diminish his will to win on two wheels.

india Updated: Oct 27, 2009 01:47 IST

Valentino Rossi could delay a possible switch to rallying after a ninth motorcycling world title failed to diminish his will to win on two wheels.

The 30-year-old clinched another MotoGP title with third place in Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix but had kept his options open about what happens when his Yamaha contract ends in 2010.

A career in rallying has always appealed to the Italian and he recently fuelled rumours he would change sports sooner rather than later after saying his future in 2011 was a mystery.

However, the emotion of a seventh premier class title on Sunday prompted a suggestion he would stick with bikes until the end of 2012.

"If I had to decide today I would sign up straight away for another two seasons," he told reporters.

Having achieved almost everything in MotoGP, the only goal left for Rossi in the sport is compatriot Giacomo Agostini's record of 122 grand prix wIins.

Rossi is on 103 and would have to race on for at least two more seasons to break the record, a difficult task given Ducati's Casey Stoner and Yamaha team mate Jorge Lorenzo will continue to learn from the master and race him hard. "Next year I want to defend the title and have other good battles with Lorenzo and Stoner," he said.

"Maybe I can get close to that record of 122, it depends what I decide in 2011, if I take a one or two-year contract."

Italians would love the former Honda rider to smash the record on a Ducati rather than a Japanese bike but the chances of him moving to the Italian MotoGP team look remote.

He would be under a lot more media pressure racing for Ducati while Australia's 2007 champion Stoner, likely to stay with the Italian team after they stuck by him following a mystery illness this year, would not be the ideal team mate.

Rossi has already said that having a title challenger like Lorenzo as a team mate is not particularly desirable and it would be better for the best riders to be in separate teams.