Jorge Lorenzo believes Cal Crutchlow has the talent and potential to become a MotoGP champion in the future.
The Briton has recorded two fourth-place finishes this year in only his second season of MotoGP.
"He has the talent - if he finds a bit more consistency, he can win races and finish on the podium," championship leader Lorenzo told BBC Sport.
"In qualifying, he is very fast. In the race, he is much better than last year. He is very close in terms of pace."
The Yamaha rider added: "If he can find one or two more tenths [of a second], he'll be there.
"Cal is starting to have the experience. He needs to maybe take more precise lines and more concentration.
"If he can get those two things - and he is close to getting them - he can be a champion in the future."
Crutchlow, who will be hoping to start his first British MotoGP on Sunday after missing last year's race following a crash in qualifying, made his MotoGP debut in 2011.
The Tech 3 Yamaha rider endured an up and down season which saw five retirements but a best finish of fourth place on his way to 12th in the championship.
This season, however, the 26-year-old has looked a different rider, finishing in the top five in four of the five races this season with a worst finish of eighth, to lie fifth in the championship.
You can see the full interview with Jorge Lorenzo on Sunday during the BBC MotoGP pre-race show. Coverage starts on Sunday at 11:05 BST on the Red Button and BBC Sport website and 12:30 BST on BBC Two and BBC Two HD. You can also watch qualifying on Saturday from 1255 on the Red Button and the BBC Sport website.
Full information for British MotoGP on BBC TV
Saturday, 16 June (all times in BST)
1255 -1605 - Red Button: MotoGP Silverstone Qualifying
Sunday, 17 June
1105-1230 - Red Button: Silverstone Moto2
1230-1430 - BBC two + HD: MotoGP: Silverstone
1430-1530 - Red Button: Silverstone Moto 3
Full information for MotoGP on Radio 5 live and 5 live sports extra:
Friday, 15 June
0845-1215 - 5 live sports extra: First practice round 6
Sunday, 17 June
0845-1255 - 5 live sports extra: Round 6 MotoGP warm ups and Moto2
1300-1400 - Radio 5 live: British MotoGP