Double MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo believes 2013 rookie Marc Marquez will at least match the first season achievements of himself and Dani Pedrosa.
Lorenzo qualified on pole for his very first MotoGP race, with the Factory Yamaha team in 2008, then won at his third attempt. Accidents, injuries and self-doubt followed, but Lorenzo recovered to finish the year fourth in the standings.
Reigning title runner-up Pedrosa took his first MotoGP victory after four starts in 2006 with the Repsol Honda team, later adding a second victory on his way to fifth in the championship.
Teenager Marquez is joining MotoGP as team-mate to Pedrosa following a spectacular, and at times controversial, career in the 125 and Moto2 categories.
"I'm sure he [Marquez] will be at least as competitive as I was in 2008, and Dani Pedrosa in 2006,” Lorenzo told La Gazzetta dello Sport
“Maybe more, because with a good [machinery] results are easier to come by. He will do even better if he does not make the mistakes that I did in my debut year."
Marquez will be on track alongside the full 2013 MotoGP line-up for the first time during official testing at Sepang in early February.
The Spaniard made an impressive MotoGP debut during day two of November's rain-interrupted Valencia test, by which time Yamaha had switched its riders to Aragon.
Marquez then took part in a private Honda test at Sepang, just before the start of the winter test ban.