Friday was a bitter day for Franco Morbidelli at the Red Bull Ring. At the end of the FP2, the Yamaha rider didn’t gain direct access to the Q2. So tomorrow he’ll have to switch gears, in order to fight for the top positions, despite the fact that Ducati and Aprilia are super fierce.
Franco is well aware of the situation, as well as the fact that the challenge has a high coefficient of difficulty.
“Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to enter the Q2 directly today,” he said. “The gap from the top ten wasn’t big, but it didn’t go as I expected. During my second flying lap, I looked for better performance, but it wasn’t enough, so we have to work to improve and understand how to do it before Saturday.”
Franco tried to paint a picture of the situation
“Today I wasn’t able to maximize my potential, and the position is the one you see. The seventeenth, about four tenths from Fabio. I did only two time attacks in the FP2, making a mistake among, other things. Maybe, without the mistake, I would’ve been closer to Fabio, but not close to the Ducati. Looking at the ranking, the gap is small, because the track isn’t long. I feel bad. I had more potential at Silverstone because of all the corners.”
Morbidelli’s attention then talks about to the bike
“The aerodynamics are quite better, and I also felt some improvements on the rear. I like the bike with the wings, despite other riders having a different opinion about it.”
In the meantime, his future is in the spotlight
“2024? I don’t know. At the moment, it’s important I stay focused on the present, since the challenge is tough. Today, I made a slight mistake that made me lose a lot of time, and tomorrow we’ll have to try to take a step forward.”
Lin Jarvis recently stated that Yamaha did Franco a favor in confirming him for 2024. According to Morbidelli, he’d need a new bike, which would make him competitive again.
“It’s still too early to tell if Yamaha did me a favor or not. Soon you’ll know, and we’ll see if that will happen or not. It’s my Italian soul saying that.”
Finally, a prediction on the race weekend.
“Honestly, I expected to be closer to the Ducati, but we’re further away. Here, in my opinion, we’ll be able to see a good challenge between Ducati and Aprilia. I can see the Italian bikes doing well this weekend.”