Since the announcement of the arrival of Valentino Rossi’s team in MotoGP next season, a lot has been said and written about the bikes available to the riders lined up by VR46 , and who will most likely be Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi. From four options initially, the Italian team reduced its discussions to two manufacturers, Ducati and Yamaha.
The situation becomes a little clearer with each speech by Valentino Rossi, who if he assures that he does not wish to take care of the big decisions himself, remains all the same the first supplier of information on its structure. “For next year, we mainly spoke with Yamaha and Ducati. We’ll see, it’s not done yet, but I think we can have some news in ten days or next week”, a- he thus indicated Thursday, on his arrival at Mugello, confirming an expected announcement around the Grand Prix of Catalonia.
As for the Petronas SRT team, we are still waiting to know which direction the MotoGP program launched in 2019 will take. Because if the Malaysian team makes the continuity of its partnership with Yamaha its priority, it also knows that the arrival of VR46 on the market has been a game-changer. “We would really like to stay with Yamaha, but that is not all up to us. VR46 is also interested in Yamaha for the future,” Wilco Zeelenberg told Motorsport.com a few days ago. “Yamaha clearly doesn’t want to have three teams because they couldn’t handle it the way they would like, so you have to see. [Â ?? ¦] There are two teams interested in these motorcycles. “
If VR46 signs with Ducati, the SRT team will undoubtedly extend its agreement with Yamaha, with whom very solid results have been obtained since the inception of the program. But if Valentino Rossi’s side ally with Iwata, then the Malaysian side could in all likelihood join Borgo Panigale’s squad. The Italian manufacturer confirmed this week its association with Pramac Racing, and we know it is also in discussion with Gresini, not ruling out the possibility of fielding eight motorcycles in total.
And Franco Morbidelli in all of this? The Italian driver finds himself in a singular situation, since unlike his teammate Valentino Rossi, he has a contract which covers both the 2021 and the 2022 season, and it is an agreement not with the builder, but with the team. Morbidelli does not yet know which bike he will ride in 2022, however he does not plan to leave his team and has already assured that he will respect his commitment.
“I still don’t know which bike I will ride next year, but I know I will be racing for Petronas,” Franco Morbidelli told Motorsport.com, aware that he does not hold the key to his future Short term: “I’m trying to be in control of my future, but it’s not as easy as it might seem.”
“I haven’t set any deadline for myself,” said the Roman driver on Thursday, questioned on the eve of testing for the Italian Grand Prix. A member of the VR46 Riders Academy, Morbidelli must defer to the work behind the scenes of his advice. “I do not yet feel my back to the wall and I am above all confident in the work that VR46 is doing, in particular Gianluca Falcioni [executive director, editor’s note]. I am sure that he, Stiggy [Johan Stiggefelt] and Razlan [Razali] are going to do a very good job for me heading into next year. “
Second in the championship last season, Franco Morbidelli certainly did not have the start to the season he hoped for, he who was even cited among the favorites for the title by his opponents during the winter. Author of his first three MotoGP victories last year and two more podiums, he was the most consistent rider in the second half of the season, scoring 94 points in seven races, what to assert as the last adversary of Joan Mir for the title.
After the first five races of 2020, however, Morbidelli was only 11th in the overall standings, with 32 points, a situation which is therefore not that different from today. ‘hui since he arrived at Mugello eighth, with a capital of 33 points. However, his start to the season was stingy in satisfaction, and he easily recognizes it.
“I was hoping to get more out of this first half of the season, mainly because my intention was to pick up where we left off last year. from Qatar, I realized that it was not going to be like that, it was immediate “, laments the Italian, remained on a motorcycle less Evolved than that of other Yamaha riders.
He could indeed have obtained the factory model of 2020, but made the choice at the end of last season to keep his bike from 2019 for this year, because he could not test the model. more recent that he did not know and which had not really satisfied his holders. Today, the official riders are indeed benefiting from the progress made during the winter when Morbidelli is more limited despite the changes from which he too is benefiting. For next year, however, he is counting on an official motorcycle. But we still have to wait, therefore, to know which manufacturer will be associated with his team.
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– Morbidelli knows his team, still not his motorcycle for 2022