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High Hopes for PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team in Spain

High Hopes for PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team in Spain

Morbidelli and Rossi aiming for repeat success in Jerez.

This weekend will see PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team in action around Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto, Spain. Franco Morbidelli will be hoping to claim his first podium finish at the venue, while Valentino Rossi will be hoping to make amends after a disappointing end to the PortugueseGP last time out.

Although Morbidelli is yet to finish on the Jerez podium, the Italian has started from the front row on two occasions in his GP career (2019 – MotoGP & 2017 – Moto2). Franco will be hoping that his previous good form around the Spanish circuit, which saw him in podium contention during both 2020 races, plus the improvements made last time out will help him claim that elusive first SpanishGP podium. Morbidelli will also be looking to step up in the world championship standings, as he currently sits eleventh with the same points as the tenth placed rider – seventeen.

Team-mate Rossi, who has achieved some of his best results in Jerez, has been on its podium 13 times in the MotoGP/500cc era, with seven of those being victories. The Italian most recently had a top-three finish at the Spanish venue after claiming third at the 2020 AndaluciaGP. With the circuit being one he knows well, and with progress made at the PortugueseGP, Rossi will be aiming to be back in the fight for a good points haul this weekend.

The first MotoGP Free Practice session of the SpanishGP will see the pair out on track at 9.55am local time (3.55pm MYT) Friday, with Sunday’s 25-lap race due to get underway at 2pm local time (8pm MYT).

Franco Morbidelli

"The track at Jerez is really nice and I have been fast there. Last year I was very close to finishing on the podium in both races we had at Jerez, so I hope we can actually make it a podium this time. This year the competition is tougher and the level is higher, but I will be trying my hardest to stay as close as possible to the top-three and we’ll just have to wait and see if I can manage it. We need to be ready to react to the circuit and the other riders, but we are ready to give our maximum and to be the best that we can."

Valentino Rossi

"I think Jerez is one of the circuits on the MotoGP calendar that I most look forward to racing every year, because I have some great memories from there. In fact, last year I was on the podium in the second race of the season – the AndaluciaGP. My pace during the race in Portugal last time out was quite good, we made some improvements, so we go into this fourth round of the year with more optimism than before. For sure, a lot of riders will be strong in Jerez, because we all know it very, very well, but we will try our best and see what we can do to return to the top positions where we have to be."