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.