Colin Edwards has tipped former factory Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi as an overwhelming favourite to retain his MotoGP world title in 2010.
Rossi has been in sensational pre-season form and the Italian dominated the opening two tests at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia last month.
Chasing a tenth world title in 2010, Rossi has not yet been beaten in four days of winter testing, with Aussie Casey Stoner second fastest on each occasion on the factory Ducati GP10.
Edwards himself has been in fine form on the impressive new 2010 Yamaha YZR-M1 and he was fourth quickest during last week’s Sepang test.
And the Texan told MCN: “We got a good package and the package Valentino has is sure better than the one we have got.
"He will be tough to beat and I can’t see anybody at the moment taking it away from him.
"Jorge (Lorenzo) impressed the s**t out of me last year although he had a couple of mishaps. He’s learning and he’s still young but he will be there.
"We’ll wait and see what happens with Casey but we know he’s a hell of a talent.
"If he’s got his s**t together and doesn’t have that fatigue problem, he’ll be right there.
"But Valentino looks really good and he’s a hot favourite.”