Franco Morbidelli has so far had an excellent weekend at Jerez. Today in qualifying, the Petronas Yamaha man managed to realize all his potential by conquering an excellent sixth place for the grid, which might be a perfect springboard to aim for the podium tomorrow.
However, there is a detail that creates a minimum of concern in Morbidelli and it concerns the start. In fact, his M1 does not have the holeshot device present on the other Yamahas and also on all the factory bikes of the competition and this detail could somehow penalize Franco right at the most delicate moment of the race.
"I have a good rhythm, but tomorrow it will be tough to fight with all these factory bikes. At the start a lot of riders have the devices which will help them - Morbidelli said - it will be difficult to fight with them at the beginning. But I know my potential and I want to give the maximum tomorrow ".
Is a podium within your reach?
"Last week I said that if I had started a little further forward, I would have fought for the podium. This time I actually am starting further ahead, right in front of the riders who stopped me from getting on the podium the other time, Miller and Dovizioso, who are a little further behind on the grid. It seems that this time it might be a fight between different riders than last Sunday, but for sure I’m aiming for the podium. Tomorrow I will start in the right position to try. "
There are four Yamaha M1s in the top six on the grid. What does this mean to you?
"This means that Yamaha has done a great job. They are working very hard; the bike has improved over 2019. I don't have the factory specifications like the other three, but in any case, I have a great package. We have seen that in both these weekends I was able to stay ahead more or less in all the sessions, so I can't complain too much. Today the other Yamaha riders were faster than me and I will try to improve and reach them tomorrow. But this is also an excellent result, it's impressive for Yamaha to have four bikes in the top six. I can only say well done Yamaha. "
Do you think this situation depends a lot on the layout of Jerez, or will the M1 be more competitive everywhere?
"I think when we go racing on tracks with longer straights, the Yamaha will suffer a bit more. But the reality is that every track in the championship has more curves than straights, so I don't know. Certainly, Jerez is a track that suits the Yamaha because it is gentle and has long fast curves. We will see what will happen on other tracks, but also in Qatar during the tests the Yamahas were very fast. In Sepang also the M1 was very fast, I think the bike is competitive everywhere at this point".
This championship with a lot of races close together is strange and there are at least three riders who are already paying the price. Does this somehow affect your approach to riding, do you think that an injury may weigh more than in the past this year?
"Injuries are a big part of this sport. Every time you go out on the track, you put your body at risk, at a big risk. But it's part of the job, it's part of this sport. I don't think I'll take things any differently because three rivals got injured, because it's part of the game. I won't change my approach; I knew before their accidents that things like this could happen to me too. They were unlucky, but I will never change my plans for these episodes " .