Nicky Hayden, who ended a five-year run of successive MotoGP titles for Valentino Rossi in 2006, admits it would be a big honour to beat the Italian as a team-mate this season.
Ducati's 2011 struggles are well publicised, with only one podium for each rider, although in terms of points the situation is more comparable with last year, when Casey Stoner was riding alongside Hayden.
Rossi is presently fifth in the world championship on 108 points, with Hayden seventh on 94 points. At the same time last year, Stoner (third) had scored 119 points and Hayden (sixth) 99 points.
The only time a team-mate has finished higher than Rossi in the championship was last year, when Jorge Lorenzo won the championship for Yamaha and Rossi was sidelined for four races with a broken leg.
"We're the only team with two (MotoGP) world champions in it at the moment, so that's pretty unique in its own way and we still get along good," said Hayden.
"Me and him, obviously we want to beat each other, he's 14 points in front of me and it would be a big honour for me if I could beat him. He's won nine titles and has pretty much set the standard for the last decade.
"I've learned a lot from him, and also that goes both ways. This bike has been new to him and he's not above asking questions and wanting to know why, and I think right now the results haven't shown, but I think next year it's going to pay off when we come with the new rules and they go back to the 1000ccs.
"I think having two strong team-mates who are pushing in the same direction is going to be better instead of two guys wanting to go in different ways."
Round eleven of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship takes place at Brno this weekend, which could see Hayden's first race on the GP11.1 motorcycle.
Rossi has had the modified bike since round seven at Assen, while Hayden completed his first laps on the GP11.1 during practice for his home US round, before electing to race the normal GP11.