Franco Morbidelli chasing results with his Yamaha. The first races of the 2023 season will be fundamental for his future in MotoGP.
It hasn’t been a happy season for Franco Morbidelli, 19th in the final classification with just 42 points and only two top 10s, in the wet in Indonesia and in the last round in Valencia. Very little for those who share the box with the vice-champion Fabio Quartararo, world champion 2021. But without forgetting that Franky finished 2nd in the 2020 season and therefore this debacle of his seems almost surreal.
Morbidelli had an extremely difficult season, he was never able to find the feeling with his Yamaha M1. He understood that the new prototype based on the requests of his French colleague requires a different, more aggressive driving style. And he will have to focus on this during the winter break and in the preseason. At stake are not only the positions in the standings and the results, but also his professional future.
Morbidelli and the future hanging by a thread
The Iwata manufacturer has always ensured maximum support for the rider VR46 Riders Academy, but it is also true that it requires one more step. Especially now that Yamaha doesn’t have a satellite team and more support is needed for top rider Fabio Quartararo. “It has been a very difficult season, but the team and Yamaha have always been by my side“explained Morbidelli. But some glimmer of light can be glimpsed: “But I’d say it ended well. Because we managed to change my riding approach so much in the last part of the season and especially in the last two races“.
In June 2021 he underwent knee surgery that kept him out for a few months, but Franco Morbidelli rules out that this could be the cause of the lack of performance with the M1. The situation is clear: “To get the full potential out of this bike, you need to be a rider with a completely different DNA than mine“.
Certainly this bike has some weaknesses, such as the lack of top speed on the straights. But the engineers of Iwata they are working hard to remedy, something has already been glimpsed in the last tests and will play in its favor. “It was important for us to solve the problems I had as a rider, in terms of riding style. And I think we succeeded“, concluded the Italian-Brazilian driver. His contract expires at the end of 2023 and will have to be renewed before next summer. Behind the door is the possibility that he could be replaced by Toprak Razgatlioglu.