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Rossi hopes Yamaha learned from errors

Former world champion Valentino Rossi hopes his Yamaha team have learnt from their mistakes from last year expects to be more competitive in MotoGP this season on his new Bridgestone tyres

The Italian, who was a disappointing third last season behind champion Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa, has switched to Bridgestone from Michelins.

A winner of seven world titles, his finish outside the top two for the first time in any category since his rookie season in 1996 also led Rossi to hint at a move to Ducati last year.

But he was back in buoyant mood at the launch of Yamaha's new M1 bike on Friday.

"This is a very important year as we have got to try to be competitive again. I think we have great potential. We should have learnt from last year's mistakes," Rossi told a packed auditorium in Turin.

"My dream is to end my career with Yamaha. If we have a competitive bike it is possible to continue to the end. I hope I'll be riding for many years to come."

Yamaha will be in an unusual situation this season with Rossi on Bridgestones and new teammate Jorge Lorenzo, Spain's 250cc double world champion, riding on Michelins.

Team officials said tyre data on the two bikes would be kept separate to avoid the sort of spy scandal which dogged Formula One last season when McLaren obtained Ferrari information.

"We made a courageous decision and now we'll have to see whether we were right or not. The tyre decision was quite a gamble," Rossi said.

The 28-year-old will be fit for the first race in Qatar on March 9 despite breaking bones in his right hand in a crash in qualifying for November's season-ending Valencia Grand Prix.

"My hand is not too bad, I had it X-rayed yesterday as the little finger still hurts. There is a ligament that is not quite right...but it shouldn't bother me riding the bike," he said.

Qatar will be the first MotoGP race held at night and Rossi is still not convinced about the decision.

"At the moment I don't like the idea of riding at night. But if the lights work well it will be good," added Rossi, who also said he thought MotoGP would one day take Formula One's lead and dump some of the electronics used to aid riders.

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