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Ninth Place for Morbidelli in Catalunya

Ninth Place for Morbidelli in Catalunya

Franco Morbidelli finishes the CatalanGP ninth, Turn 10 crash ends Valentino Rossi’s race early.

Although the CatalanGP was ultimately a disappointing one for PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team, Franco Morbidelli was able to secure a handful of points after finishing ninth. Team-mate Valentino Rossi’s race was brought to an early conclusion after a crash on lap 16.

Despite maintaining his fifth position off the line, Morbidelli didn’t have the best start to the CatalanGP and found himself 14th after the opening two laps. Settling into the race, the Italian started to make steady progress in recovering positions and was into the top-ten by the halfway point of the 24-lap race. Able to gain another place on lap 17, Franco then had the hard task ahead of trying to close down the gap to those riders ahead of him. Unfortunately, despite his best efforts, it proved to be an impossible undertaking and Morbidelli crossed the line ninth. With 40 points in the World Championship, Franco will leave Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya tenth in the standings.

Team-mate Rossi also had a difficult start to the race, dropping down to 17th by lap three – even though he had moved into ninth going into the first corner. As the speed increased in the first part of the CatalanGP, the Italian struggled to settle into a good rhythm. As the laps ticked by, Rossi wasn’t able to mount a fight through the pack due to lack of rear grip, but had moved up into 13th and held station inside the points positions as the race entered its second half. Unfortunately, Valentino’s race came to an early end on lap 16 due to a Turn 10 crash. He will head into the next round of the 2021 season 19th in the championship standings with 15 points.

Morbidelli and Rossi will be back out on track at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya tomorrow, as they take part in an official MotoGP one-day test.

Franco Morbidelli

"I was hoping for more but in the race I realised that I wasn’t able to truly show my speed, and several riders overtook me in the early stages. After that I was able to settle into a good rhythm and I felt okay with the bike until the end. It’s a top-ten though so it isn’t too bad; I’m satisfied with that. Tomorrow we have the test here and we’re just planning to get on track with some new tyres, maybe look at small things with the brakes. I hope that at Sachsenring it will be better for us."

Valentino Rossi

"We expected a lot more from the race today, because I had a good pace yesterday morning. I tried the hard tyre in FP4 and I felt good, I was fast after a few laps on them, so we decided to use the hard rear in the race. Unfortunately, from the first lap, I didn’t have the grip I expected on the rear and I lost time each time. In the end I had some vibration and crashed in Turn 10. It’s a great shame and something we need to understand. Tomorrow we have a test here, I think we will try the medium tyre, to understand the feeling it gives, and there might be some other things we test as well."

Razlan Razali

Team Principal

"It was another strange weekend for both of our MotoGP riders, and the pace was not what we expected it to be for either Franco or Valentino. To make matters worse, Valentino unfortunately crashed. Ninth for Franco was not what we hoped for, but we will work hard to improve this for the GermanGP."