Ecstar Suzuki MotoGP rider Aleix Espargaro feels current team-mate Maverick Vinales will have the beating on Valentino Rossi next season when he joins the factory Yamaha team.
Espargaro, who joins Aprilia in 2017, said in an interview with BSN that he feels the talented 21-year-old Vinales has no fear of taking on the older big guns in the MotoGP Championship and feels he will have the beating of the 37-year-old Rossi come 2017.
— Maverick Viñales (@maverickmack25) September 12, 2016
"Maverick is very talented and also very young. Except for Marc, the rest of the riders who are in front are older, and that makes them think twice about certain things, when Maverick doesn’t hesitate for a thousandth of a second," said Espargaro.
"That mentality is what has made Marc successful, and what can make Maverick win. I can see Maverick fighting for the title. He will have to learn a lot of things, like having a bike to lead races and win.
"All that he’s done this year is great, but when he has a bike to win next year it won’t be that easy. I think next year he will finish ahead of Rossi," he added.
In the current MotoGP rider standings with five races remaining the top five in the standings are, Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez with 223 points followed by Rossi on 180 points, then his team-mate Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo with 162.
Dani Pedrosa on his Repsol Honda is in fourth place with 145 points followed by Vinales on 136 points.