Reigning MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo says Valentino Rossi’s return to Yamaha has presented the Italian icon with the perfect opportunity to show that he is still fast enough to win premier class races in 2013.
Rossi will be back on a factory YZR-M1 next season after a frustrating and disappointing two-year stint with Ducati that saw the 33-year-old score only three podium finishes in 35 appearances.
Rossi has already said that one of the key reasons for his return to Yamaha is to understand whether he is still capable of winning races and adding to his record tally of 79 MotoGP victories.
Rossi hasn’t won a MotoGP race since he claimed a stunning win at the Sepang track in Malaysia at the end of the 2010 campaign, which came on the same day that Lorenzo clinched his first premier class title.
Many think that by moving back to Yamaha to take on double MotoGP world champion Lorenzo on identical machinery is one of the biggest challenges of Rossi’s glittering career.
Lorenzo won the 2012 crown with six victories and he never finished lower than second.
In an exclusive interview with MCN, Lorenzo said struggling to turn Ducati’s Desmosedici into a competitive force was a more difficult job for Rossi than trying to take him on at Yamaha in 2013.
The Spaniard told MCN: “I think the most difficult job he has taken is done already and that was being at Ducati and not being competitive. I guess this has hurt him a lot because he wanted to be competitive and win with an Italian bike.
"I guess he was disappointed but I think now everything can improve with this new situation. I think he has a great opportunity to show that he can still win.”