It didn't seem like Morbidelli's lucky day. Starting from the front row should have been a launching pad for the podium. Instead, Franco suffered and saw Crutchlow rob him of his 5th position by just a few meters. A surprising involution for the Petronas rider who had been excluded from Motegi at the same level of his cumbersome teammate, Quartararo.
"What happened? I simply realized right away that I had no grip on the rear. Two accelerations were enough behind Fabio to realize this. He gave me too many meters. I even thought he had mounted a different tire than mine, but it wasn't like that," said Morbidelli.
In short, things had gone bad from the beginning.
"Logically, I was disappointed, I expected more," he continued. " I don't know if the tire had problems. We'll have to investigate, but I obviously didn't have the potential in the race that I had during practice."
As if that weren't enough, Miller also got in the way. He and Franco were the stars of a duel with no holds barred in the first few laps, which made the Italian even angrier.
"There was no reason to do that at that time ," he explained. " The only result we got was a waste of time. We both had soft tires. Marquez and Quartararo were breaking away, and instead of taking advantage of it in the first few laps, Jack started to duel it out."
Miller said he was pissed off about Morbidelli's behavior.
"Him? I was pissed off, and I made him understand it twice. Did you see when I lifted my foot off the pedal to warn him?" he explained. "I had also done it before that, and he touched me in response. What do you want me to say? That's how races go. I thought I had a better pace than he did and he the same, but I was right because after passing him, I didn't see him for the entire. Miller simply decided to waste both of their time."
Franco, however, has no intention of using that episode as an excuse for his 6th place.
"If I hadn't battled it out with Miller, I could have finished 5th ," he emphasized. "Like I said, I had problems with the rear tires and both Vinales and Dovizioso have a better pace than I do."
The good news is that, once the anger subsided, Morbidelli will have the opportunity to make up for it in a few days. At Phillip Island.
"I was definitely fast on this track. I have to do the same in Australia," he set as his goal.