Morbidelli left in "safety mode" by European GP tyre pressure woe

Petronas SRT's Franco Morbidelli says he was forced to ride in "safety mode" to 11th in the MotoGP European Grand Prix due to a "sky high" front tyre pressure

Morbidelli left in "safety mode" by European GP tyre pressure woe

The Italian started from eighth in Sunday's race at Valencia, but was unable to get close to the podium battle in the early stages and soon found himself slipping to the fringes of the top 10.

Morbidelli says the pressure in his front hard tyre rocketed while he was riding in a group, which forced him to change tact and bring his Yamaha home in the "safest way possible".

Having put himself into title contention with his victory in the Teruel GP, Morbidelli's disappointing Valencia finish means he's now 45 points adrift of European GP winner Joan Mir, with two rounds left to go.

PLUS: Has Aragon revealed Yamaha's true MotoGP title challenger?

"It was a difficult GP for us, very difficult," he reflected.

"I was struggling a lot because when we are riding in a group there is this problem we have where the front pressure goes sky high and the front gets really, really difficult to ride and really, really difficult to manage.

"You just have to go into safety mode and bring the bike home in the safest way possible.

"Looking at that, I'm happy I was able to get some points and able to get the bike to the finish line with some points.

"The championship chances are almost gone, we are much further from Joan, who looks definitely to deserve this championship more than anyone else.

"But the gap between me and the second got smaller, so we're still in play for that."

Morbidelli says he had the same tyre pressure issue during the Aragon GP, where team-mate Fabio Quartararo also suffered a similar fate and plummeted out of the points to 18th.

But Morbidelli is unsure if the problem is a general issue of riding in a pack, or if it's an issue which impacts Yamaha harder.

"I don't know, physics is the same for everybody and science is the same for everybody," he said when asked by Autosport if the problem is unique to Yamaha.

"I suppose with the temperature also other bikes suffer from this air expansion in the tyre.

"But I don't know how much how it affects other bikes and I don't know how much it expands in their tyres."

Morbidelli was the only rider on the grid to go for the hard front and rear tyre combination, having spent the entirety of warm-up on the hard rear, but was unsure if this choice was a gamble because his front tyre pressure issue meant he couldn't evaluate it properly.

He also refused to blame his struggles on the limited dry running at the weekend, as the situation was the same for everybody.

"I would like to say it affected me a lot, but I cannot because it was like this for everyone," he added.

"So, it affected me, but it affected everyone else. For sure we were not at our prime today, but no-one else was at their prime.

"Well, they [Suzuki] were not at their prime but they were still faster than anybody else."

shares
comments
Rossi: 2021 MotoGP engine freeze "not an excuse" for Yamaha

Previous article

Rossi: 2021 MotoGP engine freeze "not an excuse" for Yamaha

Next article

Dovizioso set to take MotoGP sabbatical in 2021

Dovizioso set to take MotoGP sabbatical in 2021
Load comments
Why Quartararo’s Catalunya suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP Plus

Why Quartararo’s Catalunya suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP

OPINION: Fabio Quartararo racing with his leather suit open and subsequent penalty has been the main talking point of the Catalunya MotoGP weekend, which has highlighted a wider issue with MotoGP’s stewarding that risks a negative precedent going forward

MotoGP
Jun 8, 2021
How MotoGP’s “beast” tamers bounced back at Catalunya Plus

How MotoGP’s “beast” tamers bounced back at Catalunya

The expectation on KTM to replicate its winning form from 2020 this season made its difficult start to the new MotoGP campaign even more disappointing. But a key update has seen KTM's fortunes reversed over the last week and returned it to the top step of the podium in Barcelona

MotoGP
Jun 7, 2021
The signs that point to Rossi's MotoGP retirement Plus

The signs that point to Rossi's MotoGP retirement

It's not been a happy start to 2021 for Valentino Rossi at the Petronas SRT satellite squad, with performances that are a shadow of the rider that utterly dominated MotoGP at the start of the new millennium. At the age of 42, how much longer can he go on?

MotoGP
May 19, 2021
Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's Plus

Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's

Hot on the heels of his first MotoGP win in five years, Jack Miller made it two from two with a commanding French Grand Prix victory at Le Mans despite two long-lap penalties. Impressive though it was, it was an expectation-defying performance from an anticipated title rival that was the real standout

MotoGP
May 17, 2021
The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike Plus

The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike

Honda hasn’t enjoyed an easy start to the 2021 MotoGP campaign, despite gains last season which looked to have carried over into the pre-season. Now admitting it does have issues in serious need of resolving, it faces an almost impossible task in doing so

MotoGP
May 11, 2021
How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem Plus

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem

The brutal nature of a series of crashes at Jerez has reopened the debate about whether current MotoGP speeds are beyond the safety limits of the tracks. But even if riders are supportive of the move, getting the manufacturers to find a consensus on how speed reductions should be achieved may be altogether harder

MotoGP
May 4, 2021
How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption Plus

How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption

Jack Miller’s tough start to life as a factory Ducati MotoGP rider left him mentally battered and bruised, but a pep talk and positive reinforcement from a surprising source aided the Australian to show his full potential with victory at the Spanish Grand Prix

MotoGP
May 3, 2021
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Plus

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

MotoGP
Apr 20, 2021