MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo has backed Briton Cal Crutchlow to claim his maiden top-flight win this season.
Crutchlow has taken two podium positions so far in 2013, including a career-best second at Le Mans, and Lorenzo reckons the Tech 3 rider has what it takes to stand on the top step.
"He can win," Lorenzo told AUTOSPORT. "He has the potential and a good bike to do it. He has improved from last year. Every year, he's faster and faster."
This year every MotoGP race has been won by a Spanish rider - either Lorenzo or Honda team-mates Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez - but Lorenzo admits it is important for the series that riders of other nationalities enjoy some success.
"Everyone likes Cal. The promise of Cal is very important for English riders to fight for victories and for podiums so I am happy for him.
"There are too many Spanish riders. I would like to have more different riders from different countries. They are coming, with plenty of riders from Germany and England. They are not winning yet but they are coming."
Lorenzo is currently second in the points, seven behind Pedrosa. Crutchlow lies fourth on 71 points.