Valentino Rossi has hinted that he would be willing to follow team orders to support his Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo's title challenge later in the season.
Although the scenario is unlikely to arise, with Lorenzo still 63 points clear of nearest rival Dani Pedrosa with six rounds to go, Rossi said he would be open to assisting his teammate if required. The reigning champion is a distant fourth in the standings, with his injuries this season having prevented a shot at a title defense.
"My relationship with Dani is better, but Jorge deserves to win," Rossi is quoted as saying by Gazzetta dello Sport. "Should Yamaha ask me to help him, I'll do it no problem."
Rossi believes he is unlikely to be in a position to win races himself this season due to the continued discomfort from the shoulder injury he sustained in a Motocross accident five months ago. He seems increasingly certain to have surgery to resolve the issue during the winter, though he insisted on Thursday that he had not made a definite decision yet.
"Since my return, I've gone well at the Sachsenring and [been] very strong at Misano, but the other times I've never been able to be at the front," Rossi admitted. "With the shoulder in this condition, this is where I'm at. If I'm not in too much pain, I can do some good races. Of course, if I keep on going this way it's hard to win again."