Rossi: Lorenzo returning to Yamaha would be 'motivating'
Valentino Rossi believes that Jorge Lorenzo's potential return to a Yamaha bike for the 2019 MotoGP season would give him "better motivation".
With Lorenzo's time at Ducati increasingly likely to end after this year, and Suzuki looking set to sign Joan Mir to partner Alex Rins, the three-time MotoGP champion's only chance for a competitive bike in 2019 seems to be a satellite Yamaha bike.
Despite their famously tumultuous relationship during their spell as teammates in 2008-10 and 2013-16, Rossi said he would have no objections to Lorenzo returning to the Yamaha fold.
The Italian even suggested that Lorenzo would fulfil a similar role to Johann Zarco on a third factory-spec Yamaha that would help to spur him on.
"After I try to stop Zarco, I will also try to stop Lorenzo," joked Rossi, referring to speculation about the Italian vetoing Zarco getting a factory-spec bike this year.
He continued: "I was already with Jorge for a long time and he is a great rider, he is able to ride the Yamaha very fast.
"I think that will be hard if Lorenzo come back, but the situation will be very similar to this year because we have Zarco, who is very strong.
"When you are in Yamaha you have always great teammates or fast riders with the same bike.
"In one point of view is more difficult, but is also good because you have better motivation and you can see also the way of other riders ride the bike and try to learn and improve."
Vinales: Lorenzo could "help" Yamaha
Maverick Vinales echoed his teammate's sentiments, saying that the return of Lorenzo - whom he replaced at Yamaha in 2017 - could help the Iwata manufacturer recover from its ongoing slump.
"Why not? [Another] strong rider, [another chance] to increase the level and be stronger," said Vinales.
"It's interesting for Yamaha because now, after Ducati, he has some more experience in other bikes and maybe he can help.
"Lorenzo is a great rider. He's really good, he has a lot of potential, on the correct bike he can win races.
"It's interesting for us also that he try the new bike, he can give more commentary as he was like eight years in Yamaha before."
Additional reporting by Oriol Puigdemont
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