Valentino Rossi has nothing to prove when he makes a return to Yamaha in 2013.
After a nightmare two-year spell with Ducati in which the Italian failed to get close to recording a victory in 35 appearances, the 33-year-old will make his hugely anticipated return to a factory YZR-M1 machine next season.
With his career stats and reputation taking a battering in a barren stint with Ducati, Yamaha boss Massimo Meregalli still believes Rossi has nothing to prove when he renews his fierce rivalry with Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo next season.
Meregalli told MCN: “Valentino is Valentino and he doesn’t need to demonstrate anything. He has nothing to prove. He will be 34 and the risk a rider of that age will take is different to that of a 23-year-old, but the experience he has balances this out. Each time he could see that a good result was achievable at Ducati he took the chance and showed that he is still at a very high level.”
Meregalli also doesn’t expect a repeat of the friction and animosity that dominated Rossi and Lorenzo’s previous time at Yamaha together between 2008 and ’10.
The Italian said he anticipates a more united front next season and he added: “They have both changed a lot since and the experience of last time is going to be helpful for them. I’m not expecting the same conflict and this time the team is going to be one with no wall in the middle.”