Valentino Rossi says joining Ducati will be the start of "a new adventure” in his 15-year grand prix career, after speaking about his switch from Yamaha for the first time after testing at Brno on Monday.
The 31-year-old, who has signed a two-year contract with Ducati from 2011 for an undisclosed fee, said that he was curious to see what he could achieve with the Italian manufacturer in MotoGP.
Rossi added that with Yamaha's highly respected MotoGP chief Masao Furusawa retiring at the end of the season, he believed the time was right to leave after seven seasons in which he played a huge role in bringing the Japanese company back to prominence and delivered it four world titles.
"In general, I have two or three important things," said Rossi. "First, at the end of this season, Masao Furusawa retires, and stops work. So for me, it was important. These seven years Furusawa was always the number one of Yamaha. So without him, I don't know what will happen. So for this I was quite worried.
"I have the feeling that my work here in Yamaha is finished," he added. "So the situation changed a lot. We did a great job, fantastic, great emotion, but we modified the situation from 2004 in [a] positive [way], because now the bike is fantastic. Maybe it is the best one, and Yamaha has great riders, especially [Jorge] Lorenzo but also [Ben] Spies is fast.
"So it looks like for me here, the time is finished, you know? So I need a new adventure, some new experience, but especially a new motivation. So, I decided for Ducati."
Rossi described his teaming up with Ducati as "a good feeling," but explained that it took him a while to make up his mind about his future, having previously rejected the idea of riding for the company.
"It was a constant change, the change was not black and white, I go or I don't go," he explained. "I started to think at the beginning of the year.
"At the beginning of the season I spoke to Ducati. I felt Ducati is a lot more different than in the past, a lot more open to fix all the important things of the contract together. So from that moment I start to think."
Rossi was adamant that his decision had not been influenced by financial factors but rather the chance to open a new chapter in what is already a record-breaking career.
"I heard somewhere that it is a money choice, but I want to say that this is not true, because the money I will take from Ducati is exactly the same money as Yamaha offered," he said. "So there is no difference, zero difference. It means also PR days and days of work outside the grand prix and work into the weekend, all these things. So, I think that, I always speak with [Ducati general manager] Filippo Preziosi, and I see in him the similar behavior that I saw in Furusawa in 2004.
"He wants me and he trusts in me and he thinks that together we can improve the Ducati, so I'm curious. I think this year the bike became a little bit easier to ride, but I think we can modify the bike like we want."
Rossi added that he hoped that his long-time crew chief Jerry Burgess would join him at Ducati but admitted that "he didn't know if he would."
The Italian also said that he wants Yamaha to release him in time to take part in the post-season Valencia test.
"I expect that Yamaha will let me try the Ducati in Valencia, because our story is a different story [from Honda, which refused to allow him to test for Yamaha in similar circumstances], and I give more to Yamaha from 2004 to now, I improve a lot the bike and all the team, so if they are fair, they have to say yes for my test in Valencia."