Valentino Rossi was overjoyed to win his seventh MotoGP world title with a third place finish at the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Rossi's result, which came in a wet race, means that his championship lead stands at a now unassailable 41 points over his Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, with only 25 available from the Valencia season finale.
"It's a great achievement," said the 30-year-old Italian, who celebrated in typical fashion by donning a new helmet and posing for pictures with a live chicken on the warm-down lap.
"For me it's the ninth world championship and the seventh in Moto GP, so I have to thank all the guys from Yamaha down to my guys in the garage who have helped me to arrive at this great achievement."
Rossi paid tribute to his team-mate Lorenzo, a man who he described earlier in the season as the toughest rival he has ever raced against.
"All season I have had great rivals, especially Jorge, my team-mate," he added. "He stayed very close to me. We had some great fights and he's a great rival, so congratulations to him.
"But now we will try to relax and understand this achievement. It's pretty great."