Morbidelli and Quartararo are raring to go. Now that the 2020 calendar has a start date, the two Petronas team riders are counting down the days that separate them from getting back on their M1s. Both are training to get in shape and are aware that this season will not be like any other. With so many races in such a short period of time it will not be enough to be fast, and strategy will make a big difference.
“We have a 13-race calendar confirmed, with maybe a total of 16 including Malaysia, for 2020!” declared Franco. “Of course, it won’t be a normal calendar season but this is what’s possible at the moment, I think we just have to be thankful. We will miss the fans a lot and the normal GP weekend atmosphere, but we understand that this is a provisional situation and soon we will be back to normal life. To get there, we need to keep acting safely and responsibly. Dorna and IRTA have been able to organise what seemed impossible, so now we must follow all their advice and avoid any last-minute issues.”
Now the riders have to see how to prepare well and Morbidelli is already getting in some practice on his R1.
“It’s a really tight calendar with 13 races in 18 weeks, so no mistakes can be made and it will be really tough with almost no rest,” he explained. “It will also be interesting to see how everyone faces this challenge. As an Italian, I have a bittersweet calendar because we couldn’t race at Mugello (although I will be able to train there and every year, we have to do some laps there as it’s so special for us) but we get to race at Misano twice. We rode there a lot recently with the Yamaha R1 so we have to take advantage of this! It’s really important to have a date on the horizon and work towards it because you don’t know how difficult it is to prepare yourself for a non-confirmed target. I’m looking forward to seeing our team members in Spain and ride my #21 YZR-M1.”
His teammate Quartararo also wants to be ready and better plan his final year in Petronas, before moving on to the official Yamaha team.
“I’m really happy that we finally have a calendar. Thanks go to Dorna and IRTA for the great job done. I’m training really hard for it and we finally have a confirmed start date, so our target is now on July 19th in Jerez. It will be a different calendar, the only one that can go ahead in this extraordinary situation,” were Fabio’s words. “We will have back-to-back races at the same circuit and less GPs, but I think the most important thing in this kind of championship is to finish races and go race by race. We will have to be really careful with crashes and injuries because, with such a tight championship, one injury can mean you’re out for a lot of races. It will also be important to follow the protocols strictly.”
The good news for him is that he will be able to race at Le Mans.
“Honestly after all the rumours during the last couple of months in the media, I never expected a race in France,” he confessed. “It was a really nice surprise. Hopefully, if the worldwide situation improves, maybe they can also open the circuits to a small number of fans – that would be great. We miss them a lot! Now the most important thing is to step-by-step, stay healthy and later we will have time to enjoy the entire MotoGP experience again. If we can conclude the year at the home GP of the team in Malaysia it would be an extra bonus for a really difficult start of the year.”