Valentino Rossi says he has no preference over his new team-mate at Yamaha for 2017 with Maverick Viñales and Dani Pedrosa both linked to the team.
Speculation has been growing around a possible shock Yamaha move involving career-long Honda devotee Pedrosa and Rossi has acknowledged that the Spanish duo 'are the most possible' replacements for Jorge Lorenzo, who will switch to Ducati at the end of the season.
“In the last days, [there have been] a lot of rumours about Pedrosa. For the second rider, Movistar want a Spanish rider and I think that Viñales or Pedrosa are the most possible,” Rossi said.
“I don't know the per-cent of more one or the other, but for me it's the same – two very different riders and Pedrosa is very strong and very fast and has already demonstrated his great potential, but [he is] a little bit older.
“Viñales is a great talent, but in MotoGP he doesn't have a lot of experience and is a lot younger,” he added.
“But for me it doesn't make much difference: I have a great relationship with Pedrosa and also Viñales.”
Rossi is coming off the back of a superb pole position and race victory at Jerez and is aiming to continue his momentum this weekend at Le Mans, where the 37-year-old has finished as the runner-up for the past two seasons.
“It's a difficult track and also we have to wait for the weather during the week because it can change a lot of times, but we hope for the good weather of the last two years,” said Rossi.
“In 2014 and 2015 I did two good races – I didn't win, I always finished second – but I was quite strong and this is the target, try to work well from tomorrow morning and try to understand the performance of the Michelin tyres on this asphalt.
“You have a lot of hard braking, so you need to have a good balance and a good bike for braking hard,” he added.
“At the same time you have also difficult corners, so it is always the balance, but I think that you are fast if you can brake deep.”