Daniele Romagnoli believes Jorge Lorenzo can go some way to following in Valentino Rossi's hallowed wheel tracks by becoming one of MotoGP's 'biggest riders' over the coming years.
The Spaniard has marked himself out as a burgeoning talent in the two seasons he has been competing in the premier class, winning four races and a further twelve podiums since graduating from the 250GP class.
Although there was a time when it was rumoured that Lorenzo was looking to defect to either Honda or Ducati for 2010, he will stay where he is for the time being in a bid to take on and beat Rossi with identical machinery.
Indeed, Lorenzo's Fiat Yamaha team manager Daniele Romagnoli is confident Lorenzo can establish himself to be 'the biggest rider in the future' of MotoGP.
“This season is really great for us, we're very happy with the improvements the team has made, working on the set-up of the bike," he told the MotoGP website. "Jorge has also progressed a lot as he's now able to be very consistent, fast in every session and every race really. I think he will be the biggest rider in the future.”
“The best moment of the season so far was the Japanese Grand Prix. It was really important for us to get a win early on in the season and Jorge was able to get that one. Overall, we have to look at the fact that we're regularly challenging Valentino - riding against him and challenging him is a great honour and a big satisfaction.”
“Catalunya showed that although we didn't win it was an important race because Jorge was able to push Valentino, right until the end. So it was not like a real loss, Jorge just got beaten on the last corner.”
Currently 30 points behind Rossi in the MotoGP standings, while Lorenzo would have been closer had he not crashed out of the lead at Brno, Romagnoli acknowledges the difficulty of Lorenzo's task, but doesn't rule out the possibility of overhauling his record-breaking team-mate.
“Being 30 points behind Valentino, we know that getting the title would be very hard, but I think we have to try until the very end and put in maximum effort. You never know what can happen, the mathematics say it's possible, so we'll try. The most important thing is to try to be on the podium as often as possible and always be among the leaders.”