As the Yamaha rider sees it, Casey Stoner will be his toughest opponent next season, despite his switch from Ducati to Honda this winter. As compared to Rossi, Stoner will benefit from a stronger package, argued Lorenzo, as showed in the Valencia test more than a month ago.
“As things stands now I'd say Casey/Honda [is the bigger threat],” said Lorenzo in a recent interview with Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport, as reported by Autosport.
“The Japanese manufacturer is ahead compared to Ducati, but then everyone would say that after the Valencia test. Experience, however, suggests to wait for the first race of the year in Qatar. The red bike has great potential and has demonstrated that with Stoner these years,” he added.
Asked to characterize his rivals and how the future battles for the world title will look like, the Spanish rider admitted that had Rossi been younger, he would have continued to be a main threat in the championship. Under the current circumstances though, he sees Stoner with the best chances of challenging him for the world dominance, with the sole condition of cutting down on his on-track mistakes.
“In my opinion Stoner has more talent than anyone else. The way he rides is impressive, but he isn't consistent, he crashes too much. But when he's calm and focused it's tough to beat him,” added Lorenzo.