Reigning world champion Valentino Rossi has told MCN the fierce challenge posed by Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo will help motivate him in hid bid to clinch a seventh premier class crown in 2009.
For the first time in his career, the 30-year-old appears to have a team-mate capable of consistently beating him, with Spaniard Lorenzo outpacing Rossi to win the Japanese and French GPs.
Lorenzo’s brilliant success in a wet and dry Le Mans clash last weekend rocketed him back to the top of the world championship standings after Rossi had a dismal day to finish only 16th.
But the Italian said he would be able to cope with the pressure being applied from the other side of Fiat Yamaha’s dividing wall.
“I have a very strong rival for sure. I have to give the maximum to arrive in front of him. It’s difficult but at the same time it is a good motivation,“ Rossi told MCN.
Just nine-points split Lorenzo, Rossi, Casey Stoner and Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa going into round five of the series in Mugello later this month.