Valentino Rossi does not believe 2015 will have been his last chance to win another MotoGP world championship even though he will turn 37 next season.
The Yamaha rider missed out on an opportunity to win his 10th grand prix motorcycle world crown - his seven in 500cc/MotoGP having followed one in each of 125cc and 250cc - when team-mate Jorge Lorenzo pipped him amid the extraordinary drama of the final grands prix of 2015.
Asked if the fact he would be 37 by the time the 2016 season starts in Qatar next March, on top of the draining intensity of the '15 campaign, concerned him, Rossi replied: "If you check the history of human beings, between 36 and 37 is not a big difference.
"I'm not very worried".
His runner-up spots in the last two championships already marked a late-career resurgence following his fallow period at Ducati and in the first season of his Yamaha return.
At the end of 2013, Rossi gave himself a deadline of the 2014 Mugello race to prove to himself he was still competitive enough to race on.
His subsequent upturn in form persuaded Rossi to commit to a new two-year contract with Yamaha that takes him to the end of 2016.
Rossi won six grands prix across 2014 and '15, having taken just three wins over the previous four seasons combined - none at all during his two-year Ducati stint in 2011/12.
He sees no reason why his 2015 form cannot simply continue into next year.
"Next year I can go more or less at the same pace," he said.
"But it depends a lot on the motivation, the match of the Yamaha with the Michelins, our work and everything else.
"Next year will be another story, and I will try as always."
Yamaha team managing director Lin Jarvis said the squad was well aware how tough the manner of Rossi's last-gasp defeat to team-mate Jorge Lorenzo would have felt for him.
"To lose the championship by only five points must be very tough when he'd been leading it from the beginning," Jarvis acknowledged.
"We knew only one could win. This is a problem of having two great riders in a team - even when you win everything, somebody's unhappy.
"It was going to go one way or the other, and it went the way that it did for all of the reasons it did.
"You can't turn back the clock. You have to focus only on the future."