Valentino Rossi believes Cal Crutchlow's chances of success at Ducati will depend largely on whether the Italian factory can 'raise the level' of its Desmosedici motorcycle.
Rossi endured the only winless seasons of his career at Ducati during 2011 and 2012, prompting a return to the official Yamaha team.
And while the Italian is the most high profile rider to be flummoxed by the Desmosedici, the likes of Marco Melandri and Nicky Hayden have also been unable to repeat their race winning form with other brands.
Crutchlow, who has spent his first three MotoGP seasons at the satellite Tech 3 Yamaha team, will now take up the challenge for at least the next two years.
Asked on the eve of this weekend's Indianapolis round if he had any advice for Crutchlow, Rossi replied:
“You know, I think that Cal want very much a factory bike, no? And maybe think that Yamaha doesn't give enough importance to his work and for sure you go with Ducati, and at Ducati a lot of people will work for him.
“Like he said, it's a great challenge for him because Dovizioso have some problem, and I have some problem to bring the Ducati to the top. But Cal has a different riding style and is a different rider. He is very strong. So why not?
“Advice, for sure, at the beginning it will be hard because the Ducati is more difficult to bring at the limit compared to the M1. But anyway, I think that in the factory, in Ducati, they have to work a lot. I think they know they have to raise the level of the bike and it will be interesting to see what happens.”
Ducati has not won a race since Casey Stoner's departure at the end of 2010, with its last non-Stoner win by Loris Capirossi back in 2007. Ducati's current line-up of Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden - Crutchlow will replace the American - are seventh and ninth in the championship standings.