Loris Capirossi admitted that he started to feel the emotions of his imminent retirement during his last grand prix at Valencia.
In his final world championship appearance after 22 seasons spread across 125cc, 250cc, 500cc and MotoGP racing, Capirossi finished ninth on his Pramac Ducati, having briefly run fifth following a fast start.
"It's difficult, it's really difficult, but everything is done and I'm really happy to finish my last race," Capirossi told the official MotoGP website.
"Sure the conditions were really tough, especially today with rain and no rain, and also I think the big emotions were coming.
Capirossi ran with the #58 on his bike this weekend in tribute to Marco Simoncelli, who died in an accident at Sepang a fortnight ago.
"I had Marco beside me for sure, because I had the great honour to do the race with the #58 on my bike," said Capirossi. "I hope he is happy about that. It's good that we both did the last race."
He said he had no regrets about retiring and was eager to start a new life, but conceded it would feel strange to not be on-track when 2012 testing commences on Tuesday.
"It's not so easy," Capirossi said. "My life has changed a lot. Now I'm working in a different way.
"I'm happy because I think it's the right decision and now is a good time to do something else.
"The last 22 years I've done this, and I'm already thinking on Tuesday when everybody tests the 1000cc bikes, I'll be just outside watching.
"Like I always say, all stories start and finish. My time is good to finish and I have a lot of other things to do."