Valentino Rossi insists there is no danger of his relationship with team-mate Jorge Lorenzo returning to the frosty atmosphere that existed during their previous time together at the factory Yamaha MotoGP team.
Yamaha - with one eye on the future - placed rookie Lorenzo alongside Rossi in 2008, ending the harmonious three-year partnership with Colin Edwards.
Rossi appeared to take the decision as a kind of betrayal, after helping to transform Yamaha's MotoGP fortunes, and the pit garage remained literally divided by the time Lorenzo emerged as Rossi's main title rival in 2009.
The Italian made the situation clear in an interview with the BBC
at the end of that season, declaring: "Yamaha have to decide between me and Jorge for 2011”.
Lorenzo was leading the early 2010 standings when Rossi broke his leg at Mugello. The Spaniard went on to claim his first premier-class title, while Rossi duly made an ill-fated switch to Ducati, returning to Yamaha - alongside now double champion Lorenzo - this year.
Relations have appeared far more cordial - although they have yet to meet on track, Lorenzo winning three races while Rossi took his time to get back up to speed - and last time out at Assen Rossi was seen offering encouragement to the injured Lorenzo just before the race, when Rossi went on to take his first victory since 2010.
Speaking on the eve of this weekend's German MotoGP, Rossi confirmed his relationship with Lorenzo is very different from the past and that he also understands why Yamaha chose to hire the double 250cc champion for 2008.
“Now the situation between us is very different,” said Rossi. “I think our relationship was not very easy at the beginning because I was a bit angry with Yamaha more than him. Sincerely after some time, some years... before I didn't understand why Yamaha decided to put a strong rider like this in my pit box, after all the victories. But sincerely Yamaha at the end was right, because they had to think also about the future.
“Now the situation is a lot more clear and we have a good relationship. I think for sure we are great rivals, but at the same time we are a good team. A very high-level team. It is good for us, to improve the bike, and good for Yamaha to try to achieve the maximum points possible.”
While the injured Lorenzo faces another physical battle this weekend, Rossi's main aim is to confirm that the settings discovered at the Aragon test - then used with such success at Assen - will again allow him to be a victory contender.
“Assen was a great weekend. I could stay with the top guys in all the practice, wet or dry, and the race was fantastic. Here will be important to confirm that I've increased my speed and can fight with the top guys,” he said.
“We wait for tomorrow [Friday] to understand if we are on the right way.”
Asked about the reaction to his long awaited victory from his legions of worldwide fans, Rossi responded:
“It's great. I'm very happy because I have a lot of fans around the world, a lot of fans also because I have a long career, good battles, good victories. To take the victory in Assen after a long, long time was so positive.” Be there! CLICK HERE to see ticket prices for the remaining rounds of the 2013 MotoGP World Championship from the Official MotoGP Ticket Store.