motogp silverstone: morbidelli: when i train, i’m still fast, quartararo does something i don’t’

Andrea Dovizioso may have decided there is no chance of a breakthrough in adapting to the 2022 Yamaha during the second half of the season, but Franco Morbidelli has pledged to ‘keep grinding, keep working, keep searching’.

While Fabio Quartararo leads the world championship on 172 points and three race wins, Monster team-mate Morbidelli is only 19th in the standings on 25 points.

Satellite RNF riders Darryn Binder and Dovizioso are 21st and 22nd, both on just 10 points, with former Ducati title runner-up Dovizioso opting to step down from Misano after being unable to adapt his style to extract the mid-corner speed of Quartararo.

But for Morbidelli, who feels braking is his main deficit, the fight goes on.

The 2020 title runner-up, who hasn’t finished in the top ten of a dry race this season, began the British MotoGP weekend as the next best Yamaha after timesheet leader Quartararo – but in just 20th place (+1.1s).

“We’ll keep grinding,” Morbidelli, adding: “It’s worse [than a slap in the face to still see the same big difference to Quartararo], it’s like a slap somewhere else! But it’s like this. I don’t give up.

“The bike is good enough to be first today. It’s a human being [Quartararo] that’s riding that bike. Not an alien. A human being that does something I don’t do. Clearly when he rides, he does something that I don’t do. I’ll keep grinding, I’ll keep working, I’ll keep searching.”

While there has been little to inspire Morbidelli in the way of results at MotoGP events this year, his speed when training with the VR46 Academy is undiminished.

“When I go to train, I’m still fast. That gives me confidence,” he said. “When I train with other bikes, with the guys, I’m there with the guys. It’s just here that I’m struggling. I’ll keep searching.

Morbidelli: ‘You need to do everything perfectly’

“As always, I’m trying to brake deeper, work on the braking. Every time I improve in the braking and I get it right, I immediately lose somewhere else,” Morbidelli said of his difficulties.

“To be fast clearly on this package you need to do everything perfectly. You need clearly to squeeze it to 200% and feel free. I still don’t have that. I’m working, trying stuff. I’m still not free in doing things.”

Given Dovizioso has come to the conclusion nothing will change in the second part of the season, what can Morbidelli do?

“Use the time I have at my disposal in the best way I can. Try everything I can. Be as positive as I can. Keep a positive attitude inside the team, inside my crew, inside myself and keep going.”

motogp silverstone: morbidelli: when i train, i’m still fast, quartararo does something i don’t’

Morbidelli: ‘If Yamaha wins I’ll be happy, it’s more about what I can do’

The Italian, a triple winner on the satellite Petronas M1 in 2020, insisted he isn’t being put under pressure from Yamaha and understands that it’s up to him to join Quartararo in unlocking the potential of the present machine.

“I have to say Yamaha people are very kind with me,” Morbidelli said. “They’re always trying to understand if they can do something but the truth is that according to me, with the condition we’re facing, with one rider that is winning races and fighting for the championship, it’s not worth investing energy in changing the package, changing stuff, trying stuff right now. It’s not the right moment.

“It’s more the moment of exploring, try myself, try to understand well what I can do, what should I do. It’s more about what I can do.

“If it was all the [Yamaha] riders [struggling] it would’ve been a different story. But the fact that one rider can be fast on this package clearly means it’s possible. I don’t want Yamaha to lose the focus on that.

“Finally, I’m a Yamaha employee. If Yamaha wins I’ll be happy. I don’t want Yamaha to lose the focus on that. And moreover, I am a person that believes a lot in people and in human beings. So I believe and I keep working.”

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