Morbidelli "not aiming" at title bid after maiden MotoGP win

Franco Morbidelli admits he is “not aiming” at a MotoGP title tilt after scoring his maiden victory in Sunday’s San Marino Grand Prix, as he is “just a satellite guy”.

Morbidelli "not aiming" at title bid after maiden MotoGP win
Listen to this article

The Petronas rider grabbed the holeshot in Sunday’s Misano race from second on the grid and led factory Yamaha counterpart and mentor Valentino Rossi closely in the opening stages.

By lap 12 Morbidelli had gapped Rossy by seven tenths, with his lead extending to two seconds by the 18th tour – a 1m32.7s effort on lap 15 proving to be over half a second quicker than Rossi, and ultimately broke the factory Yamaha rider.

Morbidelli went on to win his first race by 2.2s from fellow VR46 Academy rider Francesco Bagnaia, while Rossi faded to fourth.

Now just 23 points behind new championship leader Andrea Dovizioso - after his Petronas teammate Fabio Quartararo crashed out - Morbidelli admits his thoughts have not turned to a title tilt as he is “just a satellite guy” currently not occupying machine parity with the other Yamaha riders.

“I'm a satellite rider and I have no ambition...well, I am ambitious,” he said. “But I am not aiming at the championship and I'm not thinking at the championship right now.

“I'm just thinking about winning races, and doing the best result that I can every Sunday and I will see where I'll be at the end of the year.

“But I'm thinking about race by race. Because after all, I'm just just a satellite guy.

Commenting on his race, Morbidelli said he had “pressure” from Rossi in the early stages and was hoping both wouldn’t “bother” each other as they quickly pulled away from the rest of the field.

“In my opinion, the race went just fine,” an understated Morbidelli said. “I got a good start and in the beginning of the race I felt the pressure from Vale.

“I was seeing that we were pulling away, and I was just hoping to not bother each other, and that’s what happened.

“And after some laps I saw that I was pulling away, so [that was] an even greater surprise.

“So, when I saw that I was pulling away I just said to myself ‘just put your rhythm on track and just trying to maintain your rhythm, just do what you can’.

“Actually, what I was seeing on the dashboard was pretty impressive.”

Morbidelli called the last 10 laps the “most important” of his life and was able to “think about many things” on his way to victory.

“Then the last 10 laps were unbelievable because I had the chance to think about many things and was a great feeling,” he added.

“They were for sure the most important 10 laps of my career and my life.

“I had a lot of fun, and I just want to say thanks to all my team and to all the people that have been working with me.” 

shares
comments
Misano MotoGP: Morbidelli bags maiden win, Quartararo retires
Previous article

Misano MotoGP: Morbidelli bags maiden win, Quartararo retires

Next article

Vinales: I was just a “cone on the track” in Misano race

Vinales: I was just a “cone on the track” in Misano race
Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2022 Prime

Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2022

The 2022 MotoGP season was another hotly contested championship, with Francesco Bagnaia emerging as the title winner after the campaign went to the wire. Motorsport.com picks out the 10 best performers of the season

MotoGP
Nov 29, 2022
Was the MotoGP 2022 title won by Bagnaia or lost by Quartararo? Prime

Was the MotoGP 2022 title won by Bagnaia or lost by Quartararo?

Reigning MotoGP world champion Fabio Quartararo had a 91-point lead over rival Francesco Bagnaia after the German Grand Prix, a seemingly impregnable gap to overcome in the remaining 10 races. But as the Frenchman struggled for pace with his Yamaha, Bagnaia stormed back into contention and swept to Ducati's first riders' title since 2007

MotoGP
Nov 25, 2022
Why there's more to Honda's 2023 MotoGP bike than the Valencia test suggests Prime

Why there's more to Honda's 2023 MotoGP bike than the Valencia test suggests

After a run on Honda's 2023 prototype MotoGP bike, six-time champion Marc Marquez made his pessimism clear with his initial reaction. But the Japanese marque has made leadership changes behind closed doors - and a more representative bike promised for the Malaysia test in February could placate Marquez.

MotoGP
Nov 23, 2022
Why new MotoGP champion Bagnaia has a stronger character than it seems Prime

Why new MotoGP champion Bagnaia has a stronger character than it seems

While new MotoGP champion Francesco Bagnaia might not be the loudest rider on the grid, his calm exterior belies a steely backbone. His part in turning around Ducati's fortunes at the start of the year, when displeased with a new engine concept, shows the strength of his character.

MotoGP
Nov 16, 2022
Why Bagnaia's MotoGP triumph is as worthy as Stoner's Ducati breakthrough Prime

Why Bagnaia's MotoGP triumph is as worthy as Stoner's Ducati breakthrough

OPINION: Despite the superiority exhibited by the Ducati in 2022, the context in which Francesco Bagnaia became MotoGP world champion means that both the rider and the Italian marque merit the same recognition that the brand and Casey Stoner received after their 2007 title

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2022
Why the 2022 MotoGP season had a bittersweet ending Prime

Why the 2022 MotoGP season had a bittersweet ending

OPINION: MotoGP’s fifth last round showdown of the modern era delivered a tense finale despite the predictable outcome, as Francesco Bagnaia ended 15 years of pain for Ducati. But as emotions ran high for the Italian marque, a final victory for a departing Japanese rival tinged the campaign’s conclusion with sadness.

MotoGP
Nov 7, 2022
Why the 2023 MotoGP title battle has already begun Prime

Why the 2023 MotoGP title battle has already begun

Since Ducati announced the arrival of Enea Bastianini to its factory team for 2023, the staging of the four-time race winner has strained the atmosphere within the Italian manufacturer, which has raised its guard in anticipation of what may happen between him and championship favourite Francesco Bagnaia.

MotoGP
Nov 1, 2022
Why Yamaha has just six months to safeguard Quartararo's future Prime

Why Yamaha has just six months to safeguard Quartararo's future

Yamaha's decision to dispense pre-season with the 2022 engine it had intended to use due to lack of reliability, the promises of improvement to Fabio Quartararo and the advance with which the rider market moves leaves the Japanese brand with less than six months to prevent the Frenchman from starting to look for a way out

MotoGP
Oct 28, 2022