Loris Capirossi says he will do his best to make sure he achieves his 100th podium in the world championship as he starts a new era with the Pramac Ducati team.
The veteran Italian, the most experienced rider in history, goes into his 22nd season in the championship hoping to end a two-year podium drought.
Capirossi, who left Suzuki after last season, admitted he is as fired up as always and says he would quit otherwise. The Pramac rider made it clear he is determined to continue racing next season, while aiming to score his centenary podium in 2011.
"I'm too proud to just be a bit player: should I realize I'm not able to get results anymore, I will realize that the time to quit has come," Capirossi was quoted as saying by Gazzetta dello Sport. "But one way or another, I will get on next year's 1,000cc bikes, and then I will perhaps find a role to stay at the top: I have a couple of offers.
"In the meantime, I've changed my training, aiming for strength and stamina. It will be tough, but I'll try to get my 100th podium which I've been chasing for two years."
Teammate Randy de Puniet is also aiming to enjoy a strong season after being one of the surprises of last year before he was sidelined by a leg injury.
"I am happy with this new adventure in Ducati," he said. "I am back 'Italian' again, as in the past I have already ridden an Italian bike. I really enjoyed riding with my Ducati, even if sometimes it is still a bit hard to control, especially when cornering.
"Last year, despite the bad leg injury, I achieved good results. Now the most important thing for me is knowing that the leg has not given me any problems and in these first tests I was able to push hard.
"The goal is certainly to be repeated this season. With my work and my engineers we are confident that this goal is easily attainable. Already in a few days we will face a new test in Sepang and I am sure that we can already improve our results."