Maverick Vinales doesn't foresee any issues with future team-mate Valentino Rossi and explained how he felt a move from Suzuki to Yamaha at the close of 2016 was necessary for his career to grow.
At the end of a protracted saga, Viñales' signing with Yamaha for the 2017 and '18 seasons was confirmed on Thursday and speaking to assembled media, the 21-year stated that the move “is a good thing for both” himself and Rossi.
“I don't think [our relationship will change],” said Viñales, who scored a debut MotoGP podium in Le Mans.
“We have quite a good relationship now. I am in his merchandising [company] and finally I think it's a good thing for both of us. In the future we're going to have a good relationship. When you are good in one team and all the team is good then it's great to come to the races.”
The 2013 Moto3 world champion, who in recent weeks was torn between staying with Suzuki, with whom he began his career in the premier class, and replacing the outgoing Jorge Lorenzo in Movistar Yamaha colours, said he felt the move represented a chance to learn from Rossi's vast experience.
“I don't think like [there will be issues]. I think in a different way. I think to be in one team with Valentino, if you are quite intelligent, you can learn a lot. Valentino has been successful all his life so he must do something good! I will try to learn what is his secret.”
On whether their cordial relationship may change between if Viñales starts to place ahead of his '17 team-mate, he added, “I've always been thinking about this, and about what happens on the track.
“I fight a lot with Aleix [Espargaro] and even in Malaysia we touch five or six times. When we exit from the track we laughed together and this is the nice thing - To be competitive on the track and to be friendly off track with all the riders.”
While the young Catalan's comments at several moments in the season – notably after the Spanish Grand Prix and qualifying in Le Mans – pointed toward a frustration at Suzuki's inability to solve issues with rear grip on corner entry, Viñales continued how difficult it was to break the news to current boss Davide Brivio.
“Finally it was myself [that made the decision]. I think it's the next step to grow up in my career. I need to be really thankful to Suzuki because they gave me the opportunity to show my potential and also they work so hard.
“During the French Grand Prix I decided. Then I made it official to my team and to Davide the week after. But I think it has been really difficult to tell this to Davide over the telephone like this. But for me it was important to do this.
“Sure I talk with all my people, with everyone that has always been close. It has always been important to me to understand their opinion and get the feel for what they think about their movements. But like always, I follow my head and I always make the decision on my own.
“You never know if you have the opportunity again. I think it was good to take it now.”