Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo have both said they expect their relationship to be much less tense than the last time they shared Yamaha’s factory MotoGP garage in 2010.
When the pair raced together between 2008 and 2010 their rivalry was one of the most intense in recent MotoGP history, with the pair frequently clashing on and off the track.
After a disastrous two-year spell with Ducati, 34-year-old Rossi has moved back to Yamaha to renew his rivalry with reigning world champion Lorenzo, who has won two out of the last three premier class titles.
Speaking during the launch of Yamaha’s factory MotoGP squad in Jerez earlier today, the subject of their relationship inevitably cropped up.
Sitting side by side each other in front of a packed press conference in Yamaha’s hospitality unit, Rossi and Lorenzo said they expected their relationship to be more cordial in 2013.
Ever since Rossi returned to Yamaha immediately after the final race in Valencia last November, his relationship with Lorenzo has clearly mellowed.
Gone is the dividing wall that split them last time and there is no ban on the sharing of data, which was implemented at Rossi’s request during their previous three-year spell together.
During the recent private test at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas, Rossi and Lorenzo were both sign talking to each other about rear tyre performance and machine set-up, a scene that would have been unimaginable the last time they shared a garage together.
Rossi said: “Now the situation is very different under the point of view of Jorge and also my point of view. The important thing is the results. In the past when we maybe had some problems out of the track we won everything for Yamaha. This is the main target but for me now our relationship during the season will be better.
"Our target is to fight on the track because everybody wants to arrive in front but work together for Yamaha to improve the bike to try to arrive in front of our opponents. I think our relationship will remain good.”
Double MotoGP world champion Lorenzo then took the microphone and gave his opinion on how he saw their relationship panning out.
The 25-year-old said: “I will not say our relationship is fantastic. It is a little bit less than fantastic but let’s say it is good. We can chat about the bike mainly but also we can chat about other things.
"It is important to have communication, especially to try and improve the bike and to transmit the information to the engineers. It is much better than a few years ago but let’s see in the future. Let’s hope it is even better. Fantastic I don’t know but better and certainly not worse.”