Franco Morbidelli was Yamaha’s first rider at the end of the Montmeló Sprint Race, but the Italian-Brazilian rider doesn’t have much to rejoice about, since he finished the race in 15th place. What conditioned his race, besides a 16th position on the starting grid, was the usual chaos at the first corner, which cost Franky time and positions.
“I was lucky at the beginning at turn one, because I managed to avoid an accident with Fabio. Then I managed to get in the middle of the group. I ended up in a fight with two KTMs, and I managed to close in front of them. With the accident at the beginning of the race, I had to straighten the bike. I lost a few positions, and I got a little stiff. When we then find our pace, we’re performing well, but it’s no big deal. Just a little more than the Honda,” Morbidelli said. He was in a good battle with Jack Miller and Augusto Fernandez, after getting rid of Iker Lecuona.
Starting at the bottom of the group makes everything more complicated, especially at the begining, when everyone tries to get as many positions as possible in the space of a corner.
“There’s a lot of aggression, even if you’re 16th or 17th. These are the races,” Morbid said. “The riders are all warmed-up at the first corner. I got a little angry with Fabio at the end of the race because I thought it was his fault. But then, looking at the images, I saw that he was involved in something and had to go straight.”
It’s not only the DNA of the riders, according to Franco, that determines a high rate of aggression at the start, but also the difficulties in recuperating positions during the race, due to tires that have not kept up with the technical development of the MotoGP.
“We saw some bad accidents in the early stages of Grand Prix racing, and I’m ninety-eight percent sure it's the tires. You have a big tire drop, and a lot of fatigue, and recuperating positions, so you risk a lot at the beginning, because the ones you can conquer at the start, become very useful for the race,” he stressed. “Like I said in Jerez, the technological level has developed with the devices at the front and rear, and the fins everywhere, but the tires have remained the same.”
Conditions that could also disappear in the upcoming Sprint Races, if some riders decide to use the short race as a session to collect data in view of the Grand Prix.
“There are several ways to store information for the race on Sunday, and one is mounting the tire that will be used in the race, even if it’s not the right choice. Marini made this move today, but there are different philosophies used in preparing for the race. You can choose to stay with the group and see what happens and how the tire goes for you and the others,” Morbidelli commented. “I don’t know what to expect but, in my opinion, we’re riders and, when there’s a race, we all want to be in it.”