Maverick Vinales has everything it takes to be one of MotoGP’s “protagonists” in future, reckons seven-time premier class champion Valentino Rossi.
Suzuki rider Vinales was one of the revelations of 2015 during his rookie season, and showed plenty of promise during winter testing – notably topping the timesheets for a day apiece at Phillip Island and Qatar.
And, having spent time following the young Spaniard during practice at Losail, Rossi is convinced Vinales has a big future ahead of him.
“I think Maverick is one of those riders who has a little bit more,” Rossi said. “He’s a rider with a special talent who can be one of the protagonists of MotoGP in years to come.
“He rides very well, takes very good lines, and knows how to use a MotoGP bike. He's one of the riders who can win, he has great talent and he's f**ing young – too young!
“And Suzuki has improved, so Maverick can stay with us in the race.”
For his part, Vinales said that the Italian following him on track can only be a positive: “I like the fact Rossi followed me. It shows he’s taking me into consideration.”