While the start of the season continues to be delayed, the live sessions on GPOne’s Facebook channel continue with a parade of top guests. Today's was Franco Morbidelli, one of the riders most on the ball during the winter tests, also (perhaps) thanks to his classic calm and thoughtful manner, with which he also answered the questions from Matteo Aglio, Marco Caregnato, Riccardo Guglielmetti and the fans.
Above you can see the full video of the chat with Morbido.
"My days are going well - said Franky - even if we are going through a fundamentally bad situation".
How are you living through this situation?
"At this moment I have changed everything: as soon as the news of the cancellation of Qatar arrived, I wasn’t worried, but then many other races were postponed so I started training only to stay fit and feel good with myself, nothing super challenging because today it is difficult to understand when we will start. I think it's time to regroup your energies, trying to spend some good moments with the people around you, waiting to see when we will start. Training in a certain way to prepare for a race is a nightmare, so doing it for nothing just wears you out, I don't see any reason to do it right now ".
Often together with the Academy you train with large bikes on small tracks, what does this help you with?
"It helps a little bit in all aspects: first and foremost, it is a physical effort, given that sometimes we also ride R6s, and also technically given that you face new situations. For example, the front tucks in much more often in those situations, and you have to be good at keeping everything under control. As they say, "you make the feeling" (laughs)?".
With less training you have more time for TV series for example, are you a lover of this type of TV?
"I like them, but I don't really like being on the sofa; after a while I get a bit paranoid and I have to get up and move around; I’ve only done it a few times with my fiancée."
You are probably one of the riders with the most regrets, given your excellent winter tests…
“Yes, I probably am. In both tests I felt very comfortable riding the bike, as well as fast, I wanted to race. I reckon I’m a rider who takes things step by step, who needs time to fully express himself on the bike, and this winter I felt ready to really give everything in MotoGP: last year I tried to understand where I went wrong and how to improve, working in the best possible way in the winter to be ready. The test results were encouraging, I was very happy and excited about it. "
In the tests it seemed that for the umpteenth time the Yamaha was faster than the most recent version. Why do you think this happens?
"The Yamaha’s soul is gentle, it is a bike that lets you ride it easily, even if being really fast is obviously difficult. From year to year we are looking for improvements, which don’t always have an immediate effect: when working on a new bike you must first understand the potential and then the immediate speed, provided that you are not two seconds slower (laughs) ".
Many observers compare you to your teammate Quartararo. How does your riding style differ?
“A strong point of Fabio are the lines, and in general his way of riding. He delays his entry a lot, he enters the corners very quickly and is good at sliding the bike. I am sweeter, I brake harder and I try to accelerate better, while he brakes strongly but makes the difference in turning in the bike strongly everywhere. I tried to emulate it this winter, but it is not easy to do right away, even if in some stretches of the track it was useful ".
Speaking of your other opponents, what would you steal from Rossi, Marquez and Lorenzo?
“From Vale I would steal the ability to surprise in any situation, he is good at doing well when it really matters and when he apparently has everything against him. I would steal from Marc the fact that he is so dismissive of danger, something that can be counterproductive but that has allowed him to win eight titles. I would steal the clean riding style of Jorge, he is a master at moving on the motorbike, it is a great sight to see him in the saddle whether he goes fast or slowly. I like it very much to see a sportsman doing something difficult while showing little stress and little difficulty”.
Lorenzo has recently returned to riding the Yamaha, have you looked at his data?
"I looked at some of his data from 2015, then I have Ramon (Forcada, Lorenzo's former crew chief) who is our Maradona, an added value to be exploited to the fullest: he has infinite experience as well as being wise and friendly, he knows how to act in many situations during the championship".
Motorbikes but not only - "Having Valentino in the garage would be a stimulus. I like football, but as a footballer I wouldn’t have lasted long"
As for Valentino, on the other hand, could having him as a teammate be motivating? Making a comparison with football it would be like having Cristiano Ronaldo on the team
“Beating Vale can certainly give a different sensation, after all you are defeating one of the greatest riders ever. Vale is a true living legend on the track so if you happen to beat him it's a satisfaction and having him in the garage would be an extra motivation for everyone. In general, however, it is difficult to talk about the future now because I have no way of building it on the bike, I can’t prove how much I am worth. Right now, we are in the hands of the technicians, in my case in the hands of VR46 ".
Staying with football, many people say that you are not at all bad with the ball at your feet…
"Actually, I feel very strong, but it is not the case. When I play, my Roman character comes out a bit, since I always want the ball and get angry if things don't go the way I want, I become an uncomfortable person to be with on the pitch (laughs). "
Which is totally in contrast with your usual character…
"That's right, in fact I often tell my friends that football brings out a side of me that I don't know, and I often am surprised at what I say on the field (laughs)."
Do you also have this sort of behaviour when you are on the bike?
"Not at all, I believe that football helps me to let off steam, while on the bike I am aware that this kind of behaviour is pointless".
Would you have been a footballer if you hadn’t been a racer?
“I don't think so because I wouldn't have lasted long (laughs). My guru is Ronaldinho, so I take the ball and I don't pass it; I dance with the ball, so I make people a bit rattled. "
Seeing as you have partially a Brazilian soul, have you ever thought of a helmet in honour of Senna?
"No, because I don't feel worthy of doing it yet, maybe in the future."
But you did it for Gianni Rolando in Misano…
“Yes, and it was nice. He contacted me before the weekend asking me if I would like to race with his graphics on my helmet, and that’s what happened: it was a good thing also because the proceeds from the sale of the helmet went towards those who are forced to do chemotherapy ".
Last question. What changes between a street bike and a MotoGP bike?
"Everything is better. The engine is stronger, it is superior both in terms of power and delivery, thanks to better electronics: you can compare it to a large wave, which advances slowly but with great power and inertia. Everything is better, starting with the chassis and everything else."