Valentino Rossi happy with Pedrosa or Vinales as MotoGP team-mate

Valentino Rossi says it makes no difference whether Dani Pedrosa or Maverick Vinales is his Yamaha MotoGP team-mate in 2017

Valentino Rossi happy with Pedrosa or Vinales as MotoGP team-mate

Suzuki's Vinales has long been considered the frontrunner to replace the Ducati-bound Jorge Lorenzo, and is weighing up a decision on his future.

However, fresh talk puts Pedrosa in the picture, for what would be a move away from Honda for his 12th season in MotoGP.

While Pedrosa brushed off discussions about his future at Le Mans on Thursday, Rossi said he would be equally happy to work with the winner of 28 grands prix as he would Vinales, who is in his second season in the premier class.

"I think that for the second rider, [Yamaha title sponsor] Movistar wants a Spanish rider and Vinales or Pedrosa are the most possible [options]," the Italian said.

"I don't know the percentage, one more than the other, you have to speak with Yamaha. But for me, it's the same.

"[They are] two very different riders; Pedrosa very, very strong, very fast, already demonstrated his great potential, but a little bit older.

"Vinales, a great talent, already demonstrated but in MotoGP not a lot of experience.

"But a lot younger, so it's a little bit different.

"For me, essentially, it's no difference. I have a great relationship with Pedrosa and with Vinales."

MARQUEZ WANTS PEDROSA TO STAY

Dual MotoGP champion Marc Marquez is a certainty to extend his Honda contract, with discussions having started during the Austin round last month.

Pedrosa has been his team-mate since stepping up to MotoGP in 2013, and Marquez believes Honda will push to keep the duo together, something he would support.

"Of course Honda will try to keep him because in the end he is a good rider," Marquez said.

"Also he is important inside the team, after all of these years. For me, [like] I already said two years ago, Dani is a good team-mate.

"He's fast, he's strong, he's fourth in the championship now, so he's one of the stronger riders in the category.

"I think the target of Honda is to keep him."

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