Morbidelli forced to ride in “safety mode” due to pressure issue

Petronas SRT’s Franco Morbidelli says he was forced to ride in “safety mode” to 11th in the MotoGP European Grand Prix at Valencia due to high front tyre pressure.

Morbidelli forced to ride in “safety mode” due to pressure issue

The Italian started from eighth on the grid in Sunday’s race, but was unable to get close to the podium battle in the early stages and soon found himself slipping to the fringes of the top 10.

Morbidelli says the pressure of his front hard tyre rocketed while he was riding in a group and had to bring his Yamaha home in the “safest way possible”. Having put himself into title contention with his Teruel GP win last time out, Morbidelli’s 11th at Valencia means he’s now 45 points adrift of leader Joan Mir and admits his championship chances are “almost gone” with two rounds to go.

“It was a difficult GP for us, very difficult, I was struggling a lot because, when we are riding in a group, there is this problem we have where the front pressure goes sky high and the front gets really, really difficult to ride and really, really difficult to manage and you just have to go into safety mode and bring the bike home in the safest way possible,” he explained.

“So, looking at that, I’m happy I was able to get the bike to the finish line with some points. The championship chances are almost gone, we are much further from Joan, who looks definitely to deserve this championship more than anyone else.

“But the gap between me and the second got smaller, so we’re still in play for that.”

Read Also:

Morbidelli says he had the same tyre pressure issue during the Aragon GP, where teammate Fabio Quartararo also suffered the same fate and plummeted out of the points to 18th. But Morbidelli is unsure if the problem is a general problem of riding in a pack, or if it’s an issue which impacts Yamaha harder.

“I don’t know, physics and science [are] the same for everybody,” he said when asked by Motorsport.com if the problem is unique to Yamaha. “So, I suppose with the temperature also other bikes suffer from this air expansion in the tyre. But I don’t know how much how it affects other bikes and I don’t know how much it expands in their tyres.”

Morbidelli was the only rider on the grid to go for the hard front and rear tyre combination, having spent the entirety of warm-up on the hard rear. But he was unsure if his choice was a gamble because his front tyre pressure issue meant he couldn’t evaluate it properly. He also refused to blame his struggles on the fact he had just 20 minutes of dry running at the weekend.

“I would like to say it affected me a lot, but I cannot because it was like this for everyone,” he added. “So, it affected me, but it affected everyone else. For sure we were not at our prime today, but no-one else was at their prime.

“Well, they [Suzuki] were not at their prime but they were still faster than anybody else.”

shares
comments

Related video

Podcast: How Mir took control of the MotoGP title fight
Previous article

Podcast: How Mir took control of the MotoGP title fight

Next article

Marquez won't race again in 2020 MotoGP season

Marquez won't race again in 2020 MotoGP season
Load comments
How Quartararo cast aside prior doubts to become MotoGP's new king Prime

How Quartararo cast aside prior doubts to become MotoGP's new king

Doubts were cast over Yamaha’s French recruit after his disastrous end to the 2020 MotoGP season with Petronas SRT, but Fabio Quartararo answered them convincingly in 2021 to claim a MotoGP title that exhibited both his devastating speed and mental strength

The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate Prime

The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate

Motorcycle racing's greatest showman has left the stage, as Valentino Rossi calls time on his remarkable career on two wheels. But in his successors, all of whom were inspired by 'the Doctor', grand prix racing has vibrant new acts to keep us hooked

MotoGP
Dec 4, 2021
Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races Prime

Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races

As the Italian legend finally bows out and retires from MotoGP, it marks the end of one of the most incredible careers in motorsport history. Here is Motorsport.com's pick of his best rides and the stories behind them

MotoGP
Dec 3, 2021
How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race Prime

How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race

The 2021 MotoGP season may have only just ended but preparations for 2022 are well underway following a two-day test at Jerez this week. Ducati has hit the ground running while a lack of progress dominated Yamaha’s and world champion Fabio Quartararo’s test. While no battle lines have been drawn yet for 2022, it appears Ducati has already drawn first blood...

MotoGP
Nov 20, 2021
Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late Prime

Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late

Suzuki is on the search for a new team manager after its decision not to replace Davide Brivio at the start of 2021 was backed up by its unsuccessful bid to help Joan Mir defend his 2020 MotoGP world title. But whoever Shinichi Sahara appoints next, it may have already come too late to convince Mir to stick with the project

MotoGP
Nov 19, 2021
How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career Prime

How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career

The greatest chapter in MotoGP history came to a close at the Valencia Grand Prix as Valentino Rossi bid farewell after 26 seasons of grand prix racing. While his run to a strong 10th was a pleasing end to his time in MotoGP, it was what happened at the front of the grid that capped the Italian's ideal send-off

MotoGP
Nov 15, 2021
Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove Prime

Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove

OPINION: MotoGP-bound Darryn Binder was already under the microscope as his jump from Moto3 to join RNF's new top-class team was announced. But his crash with title hopeful Dennis Foggia caused significant consternation among the ranks - with many current riders suggesting the top level should be harder to break into as a result

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2021
How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo Prime

How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo

Fabio Quartararo’s first DNF of his title-winning 2021 MotoGP season couldn’t have come at a better time. But the events of the Yamaha rider’s Algarve Grand Prix exposed the M1’s well-known major weakness, which could threaten his championship defence given the increasingly Ducati-heavy makeup of the grid heading into 2022

MotoGP
Nov 8, 2021