Jorge Lorenzo says he would be open to Valentino Rossi moving back to the Yamaha squad as a works rider in 2013.
Speculation that the seven-time Italian champion could be set to rejoin Yamaha intensified yesterday after Ben Spies announced he would leave the team at the end of the current season.
Although Lorenzo and Rossi enjoyed a somewhat fractured relationship during their three years as Yamaha team-mates - with garage divides and a refusal to share set-ups among the issues – their partnership did also account for three consecutive riders' titles.
In light of that success, Lorenzo said Rossi's return would be a good thing for both himself and the team.
"It was sad news to hear that Ben is not continuing, because he has been a Yamaha rider for quite a long time. I think he has great potential, and I wish him in the future good luck. Now we have to see what will happen with the second rider," Lorenzo said.
"I hear some rumours, and some rumours say Valentino is going to come, which would be a good thing for Yamaha. We have been a good couple in the past."
Asked whether he had a preference as to which rider partnered him – Tech 3 Yamaha's Andrea Dovizioso has also been strongly linked to the seat – Lorenzo added: "No, the preference is to have a competitive rider in the same team. That would be a good stimulation for me to be better and faster every year.
"I am very happy with the team and myself – we are leading the championship, and we have been on the podium in every race [except the Dutch TT]. It is not decided yet to so we must check and see what they decide."