As the Grand Prix of the Americas approaches, Movistar Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi has admitted that it will make no difference to him whether teammate Jorge Lorenzo leaves or not.
Rumours have circulated that if Lorenzo is to leave Yamaha then rookie speedster Maverick Vinales, who has earned praise from Rossi in the past, will be his replacement.
However, when quizzed if he would welcome the Spaniard to the team, Rossi said that it will not have any affects on him as he will continue to do what he has always been doing.
"For me, no problem. It's not a big difference if Lorenzo remain, or Vinales come, or also Iannone, or also Pedrosa," the Italian told crash.net.
"It's true for sure that with Viñales will be very hard, because he is very young, and he have a good talent, and I think that he will become one of the top riders of MotoGP very soon.
"I think that Viñales demonstrated today that he can stay with the top guys for all the season. Because we go in a very different track, and in three tracks, the Suzuki with him is very strong. I think he rides so well, he's a clever rider, and he understand the way to use the MotoGP. So I think him together with his bike, they are growing up a lot.
"For me, Suzuki is very good in the chassis, and is similar to Honda when you follow, but very reactive and very precise. Last year, they had a big disadvantage in the engine, but looks like this year, they improve a lot. But is also true that in this case, Viñales is faster than Espargaro, so it means that he finds a way to ride the bike at the maximum."