Carlo Pernat believes the MotoGP title fight could take on a very different look following Valentino Rossi's injury, claiming that Jorge Lorenzo may have to 'change his mentality' now he is the assumed favourite.
While Pernat, manager to Loris Capirossi and former manager of Rossi, agrees with the general consensus that Lorenzo is now favourite to win this year's championship, he adds that his new status applies different pressure for him to contend with.
With this in mind, Pernat suggests that Lorenzo will need to take on a different mentality, one he may not be so comfortable with and one that played its part in the most recent Italian Grand Prix when he settled for second position behind winner Dani Pedrosa.
"Lorenzo was the number one challenger, and prior to the incident he was racing with the idea of trying to beat Rossi," Pernat revealed to GPOne
. "And he hadn't managed to do it. Now, with Vale out of the picture, he becomes the man to beat, which is a totally different thing and which requires him to change his mentality. Maybe this has happened too soon.”
Pernat also touched upon the effect Rossi's absence will have on Pedrosa and Casey Stoner. Pedrosa signalled his intentions with his fine win at Mugello and could be spurred on by the potential challenge of beating arch rival Lorenzo.
Pernat speculates, however, that Stoner hasn't recovered from losing out to Rossi at Laguna Seca back in 2008.
“At Mugello, Pedrosa took it to him [Lorenzo] pretty good. He settled for second place and was counting points. But the situation has changed for Pedrosa and Stoner as well. Dani did really well, and without Rossi on track he ran a great race. Casey should have been able to do the same, but he still isn't over the defeat from Laguna Seca.
“From now on we should be seeing different races, with different protagonists and different mentalities. Things will look very different because Valentino Rossi is not out there."
Lorenzo leads the MotoGP standings by 25 points from Pedrosa.