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Morbidelli: "In MotoGP there is no respect, I didn't want to get screwed by Marquez"

"Once, if a rider didn't want to be followed, the other guy would just pass him and move on. No respect between riders was limited to the last five laps of the race, but today it starts on the first lap on Friday"

MotoGP: Morbidelli: "In MotoGP there is no respect, I didn't want to get screwed by Marquez"

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Franco Morbidelli had an excellent pace in the Sprint Race today in Sepang, finishing in 11th position behind Vinales after starting 15th on the grid. But it is precisely that starting position that left a bad taste in the mouth of the Yamaha rider, who was unable to express himself at his best in qualifying for various reasons. Probably the clearest is linked to Marc Marquez and the decision made by the Spaniard in Q1 to follow Morbidelli to bring down his time.

Marc's habit of choosing a victim in qualifying is now well known, and the Spaniard often has the ability to identify exactly the perfect rider for the purpose. However, when today in Q1 Franco realized that he was Marc’s chosen one, he decided he wasn’t very happy about this role. He slowed down, gesticulated, in short, made it clear that he would not accept being followed, but despite this abundance of non-verbal communication, Marquez continued to remain nailed to his Yamaha to the point of losing any chance of getting through the session.

"I was talking about it with Simon Crafar - explained Morbidelli - and he reminded me that when he was racing, if the rider in front expressed a desire not to act as a tow for those following him, they would simply move on. However today that is not the case, in my opinion it's simply how things are going today here in MotoGP, it's neither good nor bad. It's simply how things have developed today. If once the moments of disrespect between riders were the last five laps of a race, today it's like this since the first lap of the first free practice session. Maybe the pressure has increased, we're all closer, times change, I don't know. But today it's like this and we play according to today's rules."

Do you think someone should intervene?

"It's not up to us to moderate or manage this type of thing, we just have to try to give the best performance over the weekend. Marc wanted to attack because he thought it was right, I thought it was right not to make him attack in my slipstream because he often manages to get through the session by attacking and it didn't seem wise to let me get screwed out of an extra qualifying position. This is my point of view. Then it's up to others, perhaps with our help and our comments, to manage and moderate this type of behaviour on the track."

In short, we need a rule.

"Certainly if we continue like this... we need to decide whether it's a dangerous, bad or good thing. Often in Moto3 it's dangerous because there are so many of them, they form swarms. In MotoGP there are fewer bikes, or it's a one-on-one. We should talk about it if we want to moderate this, but we've seen what happens in MotoGP."

Do you think this episode affected your weekend?

"Staying there playing with Marc didn't help me do the best I could in qualifying. Maybe I would have gone through or maybe not, if I had thought about only setting the time. But I'm more embittered about Friday, for not having gone through into Q2 by 84 thousandths, rather than for the missed opportunities on Saturday. Of course, if Marc had gone through Q1 and put me out, I would have been really upset."

But today you had a good pace, can you have a good race tomorrow?

"Tomorrow is a completely different story, starting from the back it will be another tough fight, we need to get a good start and to be aggressive. I will have to give everything in the first laps to gain positions and then keep the right pace to stay with those in front. Let's see if can do it".

 

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