There will be no rest for PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team’s MotoGP riders, as they head straight to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, which now features a modified Turn 10. This weekend will see Franco Morbidelli and Valentino Rossi tackle the CatalanGP, the second of two back-to-back MotoGP rounds.
Morbidelli will be looking to put the disappointing result of his home GP behind him, where he was forced off track to avoid another rider’s incident, and heads to the CatalanGP hopeful that he can make a good comeback. The Italian will be looking to replicate his success at the circuit from last year, where he secured pole position and was in the fight for the podium – ultimately crossing the line fourth. Franco is yet to step foot on the Barcelona-Catalunya rostrum and will be a target he is clearly aiming for this weekend. After falling one place to ninth in the World Championship, Morbidelli will also be looking to reclaim positions and propel himself up the table again.
Fresh from taking his first top-ten finish of the season last time out in Mugello, Rossi will be hoping to maintain the positive momentum at the CatalanGP this weekend. Although the Italian did not have the best of races at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit in 2020, he did start from the front row and was battling for the win, until a crash curtailed his race. Rossi’s Catalunya stats also include four pole positions, 14 podiums and seven victories in the MotoGP/500cc era. With the riders ahead of him separated by only a few points in the championship standings, Rossi will also be hoping to move himself higher than his current 19th place this weekend.
Morbidelli and Rossi’s Free Practice 1 session on Friday will commence at 9.55am local time (3.55pm MYT), with Sunday’s 24-lap MotoGP race due to get underway one hour earlier than usual at 1pm local time (7pm MYT).