Valentino Rossi says he does not want to clinch the MotoGP world championship just by settling for points and insists he will try to win the Malaysian Grand Prix.
The Yamaha rider leads teammate Jorge Lorenzo by 38 points and needs to finish in fourth place to secure this year's title after the Spanish rider failed to score in the previous race in Australia. Although there are two races to go and Rossi could take it easy to win the championship, the eight-time champion says not finishing on the podium is not the way to win the title.
"To win at Phillip Island would have been nicer, but before the race I would have signed with my blood in order to win 20 points more than Lorenzo," Rossi, second in Australia, told Gazzetta dello Sport. "We are at plus 38, it's a good advantage and we are going to Sepang, which we like, so we'll try to win there.
"Even if he wins I can finish fourth, but that's not what I want, so we need an aggressive approach. Missing the podium is no way to win a title. There are two races left, I have 270 points and it would be nice to pass the 300 mark: if you do it, then it means you've been very good."
The Italian admitted both he and Lorenzo have made several errors this year, but he reckons his own haven't been caused by the pressure, but rather by the bike's set-up.
"This year both Lorenzo and I have made many mistakes, but I don't think it's a matter of mental pressure as far as I'm concerned," he added. "Compared to 2008 we've been less consistent in finding the right setup, maybe because last year the M1 was easier to set up.
"So it's a technical issue: I failed at Le Mans because I was slow, at Indy because we weren't sorted and I finished fourth in Portugal because of the problems with the rear. The level of competition is high, but so it was in 2008."
He added: "After Estoril we tried to identify our mistakes, both technical and behaviour-wise. I realised that in order to do our best we need some pressure. That's normal and human for people who have won so much.
"After the mistakes in Portugal, we knew last weekend we had to be focused, me first of all, and we have worked well. I'm happy for the 38-point advantage, but most of all because we've demonstrated that if we are sorted we are quick on every track, including Valencia, which isn't my favorite.
"Obviously I want to be quick in Sepang, too. We'll need to rest a bit, because the race will be physically tough, the tougher of the year: the final five laps, with that crushing heat, are hard."