Andrea Dovizioso has admitted he hasn't established a bond with new Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa yet, but insists there is plenty of time for that to occur.
Dovizioso's switch from the independent JiR Team Scot outfit to the factory-supported HRC team will be one of the most closely watched moves during the off-season, not least because he follows in the footsteps of Nicky Hayden who endured an infamously strained relationship alongside Pedrosa.
Indeed, Pedrosa's manager Alberto Puig has already fired the first warning shot to Dovizioso by labelling him as simply 'just another rival'.
Nonetheless, the Italian is refusing to read too much into their rivalry, admitting he doesn't know Pedrosa too well at the moment but that he comes across as a 'good guy'. Interestingly though, he adds that Pedrosa may not have reached his full potential yet 'because of his manager'.
"Dani is a former 125cc and 250cc World Champion and a great rider, but first of all he is a good guy, probably even shyer than I am," he told the official MotoGP website.
"Maybe this is the reason why we don´t have a great feeling yet, but we will have a lot of time to know each other. I think right now he is not reaching his level on the road, maybe also because of his manager."
Looking ahead to what will be an important second-year in the premier class, Dovizioso goal for 2009 is to beat Pedrosa, an objective he is confident of fulfilling.
"To finish ahead of Dani would be important, and I am confident about my chances, but I will be mainly focused on stepping on the podium any time I can, being consistent with my new Honda HRC throughout the season."