Double MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner thinks it's "disappointing" Valentino Rossi will end up at a satellite team in 2021 and feels he is "more beatable" the longer he continues.
Rossi has lost his ride at the works Yamaha team to 2019's breakout rookie Fabio Quartararo, though is set to take the Frenchman's place at the satellite Petronas SRT with full backing from Yamaha.
Though Rossi had originally planned to evaluate his performance after the first six or seven races in 2020 before the season was delayed by coronavirus, the Italian is now likely to pen a deal by the end of the month.
But, speaking to FOX Asia, Stoner doesn't like the idea of a rider of Rossi's stature racing for a satellite squad, but believes he can still fight for victories.
"I believe if he left the sport a little earlier he would have left a legacy, which he still always will," Stoner said.
"But now he's showing himself to be very beatable.
"It is disappointing to see someone in his day any team would have paid a real fortune to have relegated to a satellite team.
"I think Valentino still has the potential to achieve great results and even fight for a victory - I have no doubt about that.
"Talent is not lost. What is sad is not seeing him fighting for the podium as often as before."
Rossi only scored two podiums last season and ended up seventh in the standings as the third-best Yamaha rider - his worst championship placement since his first year at Ducati in 2011, when he scored just one podium.
The nine-time grand prix motorcycle world champion has also yet to register a win since the 2017 Dutch TT, marking the longest dry spell of his career.
Stoner caused a stir earlier this month when he suggested he was forced out of his test rider role with Honda by Marc Marquez.
When asked if he would be able to beat Marquez on track, Stoner told FOX Asia: "They always ask me this question.
"If [Andrea] Dovizioso, Jorge [Lorenzo], Valentino and Dani [Pedrosa] have succeeded [in beating Marquez to race victories], then I can too.
"But throughout a championship, Marc has acquired great consistency, especially in recent years.
"He has worked and strengthened his weaknesses a lot and has become someone very difficult to overcome."