Morbidelli: Rossi was “unattackable” in Valencia MotoGP finale

Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli says he didn’t want to engage Valentino Rossi on his final MotoGP outing, but found his mentor was “unattackable” anyway in the Valencia Grand Prix.

Morbidelli shadowed Rossi for most of Sunday's 27-lap Valencia season finale and eventually latched onto the back of his Petronas SRT Yamaha counterpart.

The factory Yamaha says he tried to push in the latter stages to snatch 10th away from Rossi, but says the retiring legend was "riding unbelievable".

"Yeah, it was great to have the luck to make the whole race behind him," Morbidelli, who finished just under six tenths adrift in 11th.

"Actually, before the race I just wanted to stay as far as possible from him.

"I said I don't want to get involved in anything. But at one point I found myself right behind him and I said 'OK, let's try to push and let's try to maybe overtake him or do something'.

"But he was so fast and so unattackable that I needed to stay the whole race behind him.

"I was thinking that I was very, very lucky to enjoy his last laps in MotoGP from a really special position.

"And it was great, he was riding fantastic, he was riding unbelievable.

"He increased the speed in the last laps, and you could see he was really appreciating it and enjoying his last moments in MotoGP."

Franco Morbidelli, Yamaha Factory Racing

Franco Morbidelli, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Having started 2021 on the two-year-old Petronas SRT Yamaha before missing five races due to a knee injury, Morbidelli admits it's been a "crazy season".

But he says his 11th – finishing 14.085s from the victory – in Valencia is a result which gives him "great belief" going into his first full year as a factory Yamaha rider in 2022.

"Yeah, crazy season, lots of ups and downs – more downs than ups," Morbidelli added.

Read Also:

"But such a last race makes us end the season with a sweet taste in our mouth and a great belief in next year.

"So, it's now a matter of understanding well in Jerez what we need for next year, understand if what we did is better.

"Jerez is a right-handed track and it will make me work better. And have a nice and good recovery this winter, and get well-prepared for next year."

shares
comments

Related video

Rossi: Important to finish MotoGP career with top 10 finish
Previous article

Rossi: Important to finish MotoGP career with top 10 finish

Next article

Vomiting Jorge Martin thought he would miss MotoGP finale

Vomiting Jorge Martin thought he would miss MotoGP finale
Load comments
Why KTM's latest young outcast is a cautionary tale for MotoGP Prime

Why KTM's latest young outcast is a cautionary tale for MotoGP

Iker Lecuona’s absence from the 2022 MotoGP grid after losing his KTM ride will likely pass most onlookers by. But after just 30 race starts in a MotoGP move he was sucked into by circumstance, the World Superbike-bound 21-year-old's story should act as a warning to KTM - and MotoGP as a whole - in regards to its future stars

MotoGP
Jan 4, 2022
How Ducati's expanded roster will threaten MotoGP's balance in 2022 Prime

How Ducati's expanded roster will threaten MotoGP's balance in 2022

That Ducati will compete with eight prototypes in MotoGP this year is nothing new, having already done so between 2016 and 2018. But the involvement and coverage of the Borgo Panigale company in its alliances is now much greater than in past years, which could have the effect of unbalancing the premier class

MotoGP
Jan 3, 2022
Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2021 Prime

Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2021

Although Fabio Quartararo wrapped up the 2021 MotoGP title with two rounds to go, the Yamaha rider had strong competition from the revitalised Ducati factory team and a revitalised Marc Marquez. Read on to see who makes our top 10 list.

MotoGP
Dec 23, 2021
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

MotoGP
Dec 7, 2021
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