A textbook Friday. That is how you could sum up the first day of practice for Franco Morbidelli at Mugello since, after the good performance he demonstrated in the morning, number 21 took the eighth position in the combined standings for the two sessions. “I’m happy – Franco began – because we didn’t know what to expect since we did not test on this track, but instead we were fast already from this morning. I the morning I put on the soft tyre, whereas in the afternoon I did the time with the medium and when I put the soft back on, I lapped two tenths slower.”
Franky calmly analysed what happened, showing great maturity.
“I need to act consequential to my situation and tackle it in Moto3 style, since I am able to make up for the speed I’m lacking in a few points if I grab a tow. In general, we are riding fast and I’m able to do good times. Now I need to focus on pace and reiterate everything tomorrow, but I am happy because I don’t think I have ever been strong at Mugello.”
It wasn’t just any slipstream, but it was Marc Marquez’s, a rider from whom you can learn a lot.
“You learn behind all the MotoGP riders, especially behind champions like Marc, Vale or Dovi. Having a Honda ahead of me is more convenient than having a Ducati, since the Ducati riders ride differently and in some spots they get away. Riding a MotoGP bike at Mugello is super cool. The performance is higher and that means that so is the fun. You can express your own riding idea more.”
Now thoughts turn to tomorrow, and obviously to the dream of going straight through to Q2.
“I want to try. It will be tough and I don’t want to get too caught up in the enthusiasm. It takes just the right amount to get pumped up. I am right behind Vale in the standings. Today I was in Marc’s slipstream and tomorrow I’ll try to catch his (laughing).”