Valentino Rossi believes rising Spanish star Marc Marquez has the potential to become MotoGP world champion in the future.
And factory Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo reckons the former 125GP world champion will be competitive and fighting close to the front in MotoGP right from the start of the 2013 campaign.
Marquez confirmed today on the eve of the Italian Grand Prix in Mugello that he will switch to the Repsol Honda squad next season having signed a two-year deal to partner compatriot Dani Pedrosa.
Several of Marquez’s new rivals offered their thoughts on his move and factory Ducati rider Rossi said: “I like Marquez a lot. He is very young but he has demonstrated already that he can have the potential to be a MotoGP world champion because he is very strong, very fast and sometimes he has won difficult races when he is not the fastest rider on the track. This is so important.
"To arrive in the Repsol Honda is fantastic for him, it is the best way. We are waiting for him."
Lorenzo said: “I think it is a good move for MotoGP and the championship to have another great rider in theory fighting with us next year. Marc is able to be quite fast from the beginning from the first race.”
Pedrosa also offered his thoughts on his new team-mate after his new two-year deal with Repsol Honda was also confirmed this morning in Mugello.
He said: “For sure MotoGP is tougher so we will have to see how he begins but he is very talented and there are no doubts about his possibilities."
And Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Andrea Dovizioso said he is curious to understand how Marquez will develop as a MotoGP rider in the future.
The Italian said: "I'm really interested to see what Marquez can do in the next two or three years. He is so fast, so strong and I have a good relationship with him. His style is quite particular and I want to see how he will ride the MotoGP bike.
"There is a big difference from Moto2. In Moto2 you can't work a lot on the bike but in MotoGP you can do many different things."