Yamaha wants Morbidelli to take ‘revenge’ in MotoGP 2022
The three-time race winner and 2020 runner-up endured a torrid campaign last year, in which he scored just one podium finish as he struggled for pace in the first half of the season on his two-year-old Yamaha in Petronas SRT colors.
He was sent off from the Dutch TT from June until the San Marino Grand Prix in September while recovering from surgery for a knee injury, by which time he was promoted to the squad. factory Yamaha on a two-year deal to replace ousted Maverick Vinales. .
Scoring just seven points in his last five races as a factory Yamaha rider in 2021, Meregalli believes Morbidelli’s return was “too soon” – but knows the Italian “matches very well” in the M1.
“What I expect from Franco is some kind of revenge after last season, because he had too many things [go wrong]”, Meregalli said.
“He started pretty well, then he got injured, he decided to have surgery, then he joined the factory team.
“He probably wanted to get back on the bike too early in the hopes of making the recovery shorter, but that was probably even worse.
“He took advantage of the last races to get used to the new crew, the new factory bike.
“But I’m really curious to see Franco in good shape, riding his bike like he used to before he got injured.
Franco Morbidelli, Yamaha Factory Racing
Photo by: Yamaha
“He’s used to riding his bike, we know he fits our M1 very well.”
Morbidelli showed solid form in pre-season testing in February of the 2022 M1, finishing the Indonesian test fifth overall.
However, he admits his riding style is even more “tied” to the 2019 bike he has ridden before.
“I still have to improve the feeling with the bike,” Morbidelli said when asked by Autosport what else he needed from the new Yamaha package.
“I just jumped on the bike in a good [physical] condition in Sepang, so we started our work with Patrick [Primmer, crew chief] in Sepang – and we started to build a base and finally we had a good base here [in Indonesia].
“And we managed to improve over the three days here, and we managed to squeeze the performance and see something interesting.
“So I still need more feeling on the bike, more knowledge on the bike.
“He behaves differently to ’19, I still feel like I relate more to ’19 than ’22. So, I have to blend in a bit better with ’22.
The 2022 MotoGP season kicks off this weekend in Qatar.