title leader Jorge Lorenzo
has said it will be a 'big motivation' to be paired with Valentino Rossi
again next season.
While Lorenzo is in firm contention for his second MotoGP
crown, seven time champion Rossi has been winless since leaving Yamaha for Ducati at the end of 2010.
Lorenzo, who has spent part of the summer break at Colin Edwards' Boot Camp, told the BBC:
“It's a big motivation to have him back because I always like to have the best riders in my garage. Valentino is one of them. I assume trying to beat me will be a big motivation for him.”
Lorenzo - who finished fourth, second and then first in the championship while riding alongside Rossi from 2008-2010 - added that the Italian shouldn't be underestimated after two tough seasons a Ducati.
"Someone who has talent normally keeps it and doesn't lose it like this in two years," he said. "He is still young enough. He is 33, he has won a lot of races. With the Yamaha a better bike this year, it will be easier for him.
"It's true that us younger riders are getting stronger, more experienced and more consistent, but we have to remember that Valentino has won a lot of races. We have to respect that and keep it in mind."
Rossi and Lorenzo previously endured a tense relationship as team-mates at Yamaha, highlighted by a wall separating their pit garages and limits on data sharing.
Indeed, as early as November 2009, Rossi had stated that Yamaha would need to choose between them for 2011
"I think our relationship has got better, though maybe it's got better because we were in different teams," said Lorenzo.
Rossi will take the place of Ben Spies.