Valentino Rossi Would Welcome Maverick Vinales as Yamaha Team-Mate



Valentino Rossi says he has "no problems" with Maverick Vinales becoming his new Yamaha team-mate next season as Jorge Lorenzo nears closer to a Ducati move. 

Defending champion Lorenzo is out of contract at the end of the 2016 MotoGP season and the Spaniard heavily tipped to link up with Ducati next year. 

Suzuki rider Vinales, 21, is one of the best up-and-coming talents in the sport and has been linked with Lorenzo's seat if his countryman leaves the Japanese manufacturer. 

Asked if he would like to see Vinales at Yamaha, Rossi said: "For me, no problem. It's not a big difference if Lorenzo remain, or Vinales come, or also [Andrea] Iannone, or also [Dani] Pedrosa.

"It's true for sure that with Vinales will be very hard, because he is very young, and he has a good talent, and I think that he will become one of the top riders of MotoGP very soon."

Honda's Marc Marquez set the pace in FP2 for the weekend's Grand Prix of the Americas, followed by Iannone (+0.706secs) and Vinales (+0.861s).

"I think that Vinales demonstrated today that he can stay with the top guys for all the season," added Rossi.

"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 understands the way to use the MotoGP. 

"So I think him together with his bike, they are growing up a lot."