MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo believes it is normal that Yamaha prefer team-mate Valentino Rossi to win races instead of him.
Lorenzo and Rossi were locked in an explosive battle for last year’s championship, which saw the former clinch the title in the final race of the season by just five points.
The duel divided the Yamaha garage, but Lorenzo believes it is no secret that the more popular Rossi is the favourite rider within the team.
“I have never been worried about Rossi being more media-friendly and that he has more photographers around him,” he told Motorsport.com.
“And I even see it as normal that Yamaha prefers him to win because of his popularity, because that way it would have sold more bikes.
“I have never vetoed Valentino or any other team-mate, not even when I had the chance to do it. I’m aware that Rossi is beneficial for the brand, both on and off the track. It’s good that it goes on that way.
“To me, the only thing that matters is to have the same equipment because I trust in my abilities and I know that with those rules I will do well.
“In that sense, this company is Japanese and very serious and it has always supported me as much as possible.”
Rossi led the championship standings for the majority of the season but an incident with Honda rider Marc Marquez in Malaysia saw him hit with a grid penalty that cost him a chance at a record seventh Moto GP title.
“It’s true that some parts of the team were left with a weird feeling, a bit different than if just one Yamaha rider had been fighting for the title,” Lorenzo added.
“That controversy made a few people act somewhat cold, but I think that was a consequence of what happened at Sepang.”
Lorenzo has been linked with a reported move to Ducati, but the Spaniard says his dream is to retire with Yamaha.
“Even during the hardest times I’ve said that my dream was to retire here. And not only that, but after the title I think it’s possible to become the most successful rider with the team. It would be a dream,” he said.
“But just like I make this team the top priority, it’s important for them to value what I have given to them. After Valentino’s last title in 2009, the only one who has won with Yamaha is me.”
Download our mobile app today.