The best weekend since racing in MotoGP was how Franco Morbidelli defined this one at the Brno track today. The Yamaha Petronas rider did not take pole position, but tomorrow he will star from a brilliant third place on the grid. And obviously he hasn't picked up a single point so far, given that the Grand Prix will start tomorrow at 2 pm. Yet Morbido has gone so far as to use this definition to define the contours of a race weekend that is undoubtedly proving to be positive.
Always fast, always consistent and always able to respond to Fabio Quartararo, who this season has better technical material than him with a 2020-spec M1, while the Italian is still on the 2019 bike. Morbidelli also wanted to put pressure on him, but he is also perfectly aware of his potential and has decided to put aside excessive prudence, aiming to become a podium contender for this race.
"I think this has been my best weekend in MotoGP - said Morbidelli - I immediately had excellent sensations with the bike and with the track. It seems to be the best situation I've ever been in in MotoGP so far and I'll try to capitalize on this potential. I was fast many weekends last year and even in Jerez I was always quite fast. But this time it seems there is something more in terms of speed. I will try to get on that podium that I thought I already deserved at Jerez; I'll try to do my best tomorrow. "
Tomorrow the race will be long and difficult for the tyres. What do you expect?
"I think no one has covered the race distance in practice so far and there will be a big question mark. The tyre drop will be the key to the race and I think at some point each of us will be in an unknown situation, so it will undoubtedly be interesting for the fans and also for the riders. I think when there are about six laps to go, it will be that moment when we go into the unknown. My longest run was 15 laps, and I had great feelings. I suppose that afterwards there could be a collapse of the tyres, but we will see tomorrow. I have the confidence, I think I can manage it ".
Fabio Quartararo was also smiling at the end of practice, despite not being able to score another pole position in his short career in MotoGP. The Frenchman probably had the potential to take the third pole of 2020, but a small skirmish with Aleix Espargarò put him out of action because in his next attempt he was the victim of a crash that had no consequences.
Just as well, because the Team Petronas rider showed an incredible pace in FP4, which makes him the man to beat for the third consecutive Grand Prix after two spectacular victories at Jerez. With Dovizioso and Vinales looking below par, Brno could be yet another opportunity for the Frenchman to extend his championship lead and become the main contender for the 2020 title.
"My goal was to stay on the front row - declared a satisfied Quartararo - the first tyre I used was quite good, but after losing the first lap I knew that I would hardly be able to improve in the second. I pushed too much anyway in the second lap and I was the victim of that little crash. It's not a problem, because I know very well what the limit will be in the race, I have excellent sensations on the bike. We'll see how the track will be tomorrow after the Moto2 race, but I really have excellent sensations. "
The qualifying session did not go as everyone expected, with so many different names in front. It seemed that on paper the M1 could suffer, but that wasn’t the case...
"I expected to see Jack Miller and Andrea Dovizioso faster, while Johann surprised me, of course. Knowing the power of the Ducatis, I didn't expect to see them so far behind. We know what kind of potential the M1 has on every track and I'm happy to start tomorrow on the front row. I think I have the pace to fight for the win. "
This could be a chance to extend your lead on your championship rivals. Dovizioso and Vinales don't look particularly brilliant…
"Too early to talk about the championship, we have only done two races. My goal is to do well here, I saw I have a good pace in FP4. In that session we made a good step forward, before I felt I was a bit in difficulty. I don't like watching what Dovizioso and Vinales are doing, I just want to think about working. The idea is to do the best possible race, fight in front and then see what happens. I have excellent sensations on the bike, I want to score as many points as possible and then see how things go for the championship. "
Photo courtesy @Dorna