Valentino Rossi says he is expecting factory Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo to pose a much stronger threat in the 2015 MotoGP world championship.
Rossi finished second behind dominant MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez last season but beat Lorenzo in the final rankings with two wins and 11 podiums in the 18-round world championship.
Lorenzo struggled to recover from a disastrous start to the 2014 campaign when he crashed out of the opening round in Qatar and then committed a humiliating jump start in Austin at round two.
By the end of the season he had won just two races and missed the top two in the premier class world championship for the first time since his crash-strewn rookie season back in 2008. Lorenzo though reckons he is thinner than he was when he made his MotoGP debut in 2008, as the Spaniard has prepared meticulously to mount a more serious threat to Repsol Honda rival Marquez.
Lorenzo admitted that he botched his pre-season physical preparations after a trio of close season operarations a year ago but he’s not made the same mistake again.
And 35-year-old Rossi, believes Lorenzo will be back to his best in 2015. Speaking at the official launch of Yamaha’s 2015 YZR-M1 Movistar livery in Madrid today, Rossi said: “The desire to start a new challenge is really huge, especially after the positive end of the 2014 season.
“Finishing second in the world championship was important, but this year the goal is even higher. Yamaha have worked so hard during the winter, and me too. I am in good shape, I feel good, I'm training a lot and I'm ready to begin the hard work at the Sepang test.
“The new bike is really beautiful; I really like it. Now I want to meet up with my team and work with all of them to achieve the best possible results. It will be a very interesting season. I will have very strong opponents, starting from my teammate who will surely be better prepared this winter. It will be important to do a good test and arrive at the first race with everything in the right place, then we will be ready to fight for victory”.