Valentino Rossi has backed Spanish GP winner Dani Pedrosa to pose a bigger MotoGP title threat than factory Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo in 2008.
Rossi believes Pedrosa’s better premier class experience will help him provide a more potent threat than double world 250 champion Lorenzo, although he refused to rule his team-mate out of the title reckoning.
Lorenzo has made a hugely impressive start to his MotoGP career, claiming two pole positions and two podiums in his first two races in Qatar and Jerez.
But Pedrosa is the early season points leader after he cast aside a nightmare winter testing campaign to claim third in Qatar, which he followed with a dominant victory in Jerez last Sunday.
And Rossi, who scored his 100th podium in Jerez, said: “In this moment it is Jorge because he is my team-mate and he is on the same bike as me.
“He’s the first of all my rivals because of that right now. At the end though I think it will be Dani.
Asked if he had been surprised that Pedrosa had yet failed to replicate his 125 and 250 class success in MotoGP, seven-times world champion Rossi said: “Dani had lot of lot bad luck in 2007 and he was not ready to win in 2006.
“Meanwhile other young riders capable to win have arrived and this season will