But the Italian tempered that by saying that the British rider's style was different to both himself and Andrea Dovizioso, so that may play a part in any success the Isle of Man resident has with the Desmosedici.
"I am a bit surprised, yes, especially with my experience and after the result of Dovi but is difficult to say. Also, is not impossible that Cal is stronger and faster with the Ducati," said Rossi, speaking at Indianapolis.
“I think Cal wants a factory bike very badly and maybe he thinks Yamaha isn’t giving enough importance to his work. For sure, he will go to Ducati and there are a lot of people who will work hard for him. Like he said, it is a great challenge.
“Dovi has had some problems to get it to the top, but Cal has a different riding style so why not? For sure, at the beginning it will be hard because the Ducati is a very difficult bike to get on the limit, unlike the Yamaha M1. At the factory they know they have to raise the level on the bike, so it will be interesting to see…”