Franco Morbidelli is already at Jerez, with a renewal in his pocket for another two years with Petronas and Yamaha and a large supply of books and video games in the motorhome to spend time in an armour-plated paddock. Today he will get back on his M1 for testing and then it’s the Grand Prix, the first of the year.
‘Morbido’, connected to us from Spain, is relaxed and smiling.
“I wouldn't have been nervous even if the contract hadn't been signed yet - he guaranteed - I've never been worried about my future, things were done, we didn't discuss much. The fact is that in the team we all feel good together, it would be difficult to separate. Now that things are done, of course, it is even better, it is a pleasure to continue with this team ".
And it would be even better to have Valentino Rossi as a teammate.
“I know they are talking to a special rider - he laughs - but I can't say much until everything is clear. Certainly, it would be fantastic if Valentino arrived, because he is the person who introduced me to this world and from whom I learned many things. It would be a great story. "
But that will eventually happen in 2021, while now there is to think about the present, about an unusual season to make the most of.
"As always, the goal is to improve the results of the previous year - says Franco - I have to keep growing, I have been in MotoGP for 6 years, which are not many, I still have a lot to learn. In the last few months, I have worked hard to get back into the rhythm I had in the winter tests".
What is the goal?
“Hard to say now because I don't know what my speed is. If it were the same as the tests in Malaysia and Qatar, I could aim to fight for the positions that matter - he answered - Of course I have the bike and the team to be able to aim for the podium, I will have to see if I will be good enough to do it" he smiled.
It will be a sprint championship, with a lot of close races and two on the same track…
"I don't know what to expect, I will take what comes - reflects Morbidelli - It starts from Jerez and last year I had good potential. After the start I was 2nd and for the first time I realized that first place was not out of reach. Now I am a better rider, let's see what I can do this weekend. Logically this year there will be no room for errors because they will weigh more than usual, but it does not mean that I will be more conservative, I will only be more concentrated. And above all I will try to be in front at the first corner to keep out of trouble, we have not raced for a lot of months ".
Finally, Franco comments on the bit of trouble Quartararo ran into, training on an R1 that seems not to be completely standard. Which is why he will be heard by the FIM officials at Jerez.
"All I can say is that in VR46 we have people who take care of this - he explains – They check all the regulations so that we respect them when we train with production bikes".