Valentino Rossi believes he can still compete at the top level of MotoGP "for a couple of years", as he prepares to start the final season of his Yamaha contract.
In a unique situation, all of the leading factory riders come off contract at the end of 2016, with the opening races of the year set to shape the silly season.
Rossi, who turned 37 last month, has already outlined his intent to sign a new two-year deal, if he is to stay in MotoGP with the Japanese manufacturer.
Beyond 2018, he says he could be tempted by more four-wheel activities.
Having previously tested Ferrari Formula 1 cars, Rossi has also dabbled in rallies and GT races in recent years.
"I will take five or six races to decide," he told Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport of his future.
"But I am pretty convinced I can continue for a couple of years and then maybe Yamaha says something, because I get white hair!
"But at 39 years old I will be able to run a dozen car races still, make the most fascinating races, the 24 Hours of Le Mans or the Dakar. Although there you have to get up too early!"
Rossi won last year's MotoGP season opener in Qatar, but after an off-season of change and testing dominated by team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, he is reserved heading into next weekend's first race.
"The tests went better than last year where I began with one of the best races of my career," he said.
"But it will be difficult to repeat it, though I would like to get on the podium.
"A year ago I started well but ended badly. I would rather start not so well but be strong until the end."