Five-time 500cc World Champion Mick Doohan believes fellow Australian Casey Stoner could 'easily' surpass his achievements - and even threaten those of seven-time champion Valentino Rossi.
The 2007 world champion for Ducati, Stoner holds a 40-point lead over Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo, with just three rounds and 75 points remaining.
Stoner is thus comfortably on course to claim Honda's first MotoGP crown since 2006, during a stunning debut season for the same team with which Doohan dominated the sport during the 1990s.
"I think he'll at least have five years to push the way he's pushing now so he could easily surpass what I've done, and perhaps even Valentino Rossi," Doohan told Fox Sports
"The future is looking good for Australian motorcycling."
Stoner can celebrate both his 26th birthday and a second MotoGP title in front of his home fans at the Australian Grand Prix on October 16, providing he can finish Phillip Island with an advantage of at least 50 points over reigning champion Lorenzo.
"Lorenzo is a tough opponent, he's very consistent and very rarely makes mistakes," said Doohan.
"That's not to say it can't happen.
"There's about a 75 per cent chance that will happen."
At the start of the year, Stoner explained how proud he felt to ride in the same Repsol Honda livery as Doohan - and ruled out any comparisons between them.
“It's been a dream of mine to ride in this team and follow in Mick Doohan's footsteps,” said Stoner, adding:
“For me [to achieve what Doohan did] will be impossible.
“Number one, I'd have to overcome the same injuries as him. I think that's something people overlook when they compare him with other riders.
“Doohan's determination and never-give-up style is what I've tried to follow my whole career. He's been an inspiration for me.”