We're at the end of Saturday at the Misano GP, and Franco Morbidelli's weekend is becoming more concrete. After yesterday's good results, with a fifth time in the combined standings on Friday, the Italian rider also confirmed himself today, replicating the same position in the FP3 and finishing fourth in qualifying. It was an afternoon full of emotions (starting from Vinales' pole) but which had, as its main event, the skirmish between Rossi and Marquez who, in the last lap of there Q2, got in each other's way, almost coming into contact.
"Marquez had Vale as a reference, and he caught up with him too soon," said Morbidelli. "Then they wanted to give a little preview of the race. They got in each other's the way. I don't think Vale is to blame, and I think Marc didn't calculate the time well."
Returning to the track results, we talked about your fourth time in qualifying behind your teammate Quartararo. What are your feelings about these?
"My goal was the first two rows, and so I'm happy I reached it," Franco said. "I was close to the front row, and I'm sorry I didn't make it by so little but, in my good lap, I lost the rear because I gave too much gas. It was an error and a pity because if I hadn't missed the first row, it would have been possible. But at least I made the best save this weekend."
It was however a good result, and we can see the signs of progress that you say started a long time ago.
"Yes, I'm working well, and I know that something is still missing, but I'm getting very close. I have to fix many little things, step by step, starting tomorrow, in order to have a good race in front of my fans."
What's missing for the race?
"My pace," said Morbidelli. "The conditions have changed a little compared to yesterday, and my problems with my pace mostly come from this, not from the changes I made on the bike. I still have to figure out which tire to mount on the rear , but I already know I will definitely go with a medium one on the front."
Who's the favorite?
"In my opinion, Fabio has the best pace of all. I can also see the podium from up close."
Morbidelli showed off a really special helmet today. An exact replica of the one worn by Gianni Rolando, a 500cc rider from the 70s-80s, who has been battling cancer for a long time. The helmet will then be auctioned off, and the proceeds will be donated to the Infermi Hospital in Faenza to contribute to the purchase of a medical device that combats hair loss caused by chemotherapy treatments.
"I'm really happy with this helmet. It's nice to witness Gianni's excitement when he saw his helmet race in the MotoGP, and I'm proud to wear the helmet of a rider from the 70s. Besides this, it s also an important helmet because of the noble reasons behind it."