Morbidelli: People “don’t care” when you struggle in MotoGP

Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli says it’s “normal” for onlookers to underappreciate what a rider is fighting against in a tough MotoGP season, and that people “don’t care” what the reason is.

Morbidelli: People “don’t care” when you struggle in MotoGP

Morbidelli has endured a tough two years in the premier class after finishing runner-up in the standings in 2020 with three race wins.

The Italian was hit by a knee injury in the first half of 2021 having struggled for form on his 2019-spec Yamaha at Petronas SRT, before a mid-season move to the factory Yamaha squad and long into 2022 failed to produce any results.

Morbidelli scored 42 points across the 2022 season with a best finish of seventh as he struggled to adapt to the 2022-spec Yamaha, though felt he made a breakthrough in the final races in transitioning his riding style from a smoother one to a more aggressive approach.

The Valentino Rossi protege’s adaptation was slowed by his knee injury, as well as his change in team and massive step in bike spec, but these are facts that detractors simply take no notice of.

“I feel like a better rider,” he said in Valencia last month when asked by Autosport to compare how he rides now to when he was runner-up in 2020.

“I feel like difficulties make you stronger, and I feel like I changed many, many things when I swapped bikes.

“I changed crew, I changed ligament, I changed bike, and I changed team. So, many, many changes that slowed the process down.

“It’s normal [that people don’t appreciate your struggles]. I don’t care.

“People will not care about you like you care about you, or like your close people care about you. People just see what’s going on, on track.

“So, it really doesn’t make me feel angry, it’s normal, it’s how it goes.”

Franco Morbidelli, Yamaha Factory Racing

Franco Morbidelli, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Morbidelli thanked his Yamaha team for ‘hanging on tight’ to him through his troubles, adding: “When I arrived and I understood that it was going to be very tough to extract potential from the bike.

“They hung on tight, they stayed close to me and they always supported me, they always believed in me and I always believed in them.

“They are working and they kept working to improve the flaws that we all know that the bike has.

“We are in this together and I’m pleased to be able now to extract speed from the bike and to be able to change completely my style, going from being a smooth rider to being a very aggressive rider.

“So, I’m happy about the changes I was able to do. It was a tough season, but with a happy ending I would say.”

shares
comments
How Yamaha lost its satellite MotoGP team for 2023
Previous article

How Yamaha lost its satellite MotoGP team for 2023

Next article

How MotoGP riders are preparing for the physical stress of sprint races

How MotoGP riders are preparing for the physical stress of sprint races
The other Suzuki signing that could transform Honda's MotoGP form Plus

The other Suzuki signing that could transform Honda's MotoGP form

Following Suzuki's decision to quit MotoGP, both of its former riders have landed at Honda for 2023. But perhaps its biggest signing from the now-defunct team could instead be a highly-rated technical manager. Is Ken Kawauchi the right man at the right time to steer HRC back to glory?

MotoGP
Jan 26, 2023
How the MotoGP paddock has offered refuge to Suzuki's former team Plus

How the MotoGP paddock has offered refuge to Suzuki's former team

Suzuki's unexpected departure left more than 40 professionals virtually jobless for the 2023 MotoGP season. But that human drama has been successfully corrected by the paddock itself, with most former Suzuki crew-members absorbed into other operations

MotoGP
Jan 14, 2023
How one MotoGP team went from title fights to losing it all in four years Plus

How one MotoGP team went from title fights to losing it all in four years

The Petronas Sepang Racing Team came into MotoGP with a bang in 2019 as regular front-runners, with wonder rookie Fabio Quartararo mounting a title challenge in 2020. But it all went wrong for the Razlan Razali-helmed squad as the team changed hands and tumbled down the order - and RNF Racing plans to right this in 2023

MotoGP
Jan 3, 2023
Is MotoGP's comeback king ready to reclaim his throne? Plus

Is MotoGP's comeback king ready to reclaim his throne?

Marc Marquez’s sixth premier MotoGP title seems a long time ago given the injury woes he has faced in the three years since. At the end of a fraught 2022, in which he had a fourth major operation on his right arm, the Spaniard speaks exclusively to Autosport

MotoGP
Dec 23, 2022
How MotoGP’s underachiever is working to reverse its fortunes in 2023 Plus

How MotoGP’s underachiever is working to reverse its fortunes in 2023

As European manufacturers emerged as the strongest force in 2022 in a changing of the guard for MotoGP, one powerhouse couldn’t quite match the feats of Ducati and Aprilia. Its motorsport chief tells Autosport why this is and what it is doing to become a consistent frontrunner in the class of kings

MotoGP
Dec 20, 2022
How MotoGP riders are preparing for the physical stress of sprint races Plus

How MotoGP riders are preparing for the physical stress of sprint races

With the expansion of the calendar to 21 grands prix and the introduction of sprint races, the 2023 MotoGP season will take the riders to almost 1,300 kilometres of competition more than this year, a factor that forces adjustments in their physical preparations.

MotoGP
Dec 9, 2022
The Ducati rider who is much more than just the brother of a MotoGP legend Plus

The Ducati rider who is much more than just the brother of a MotoGP legend

Surname pressure is something many have had to deal with in their motorsport careers. And while Luca Marini doesn’t have that, his familial relation and the team he rides for in MotoGP have cast a brighter spotlight on his progress. But, as he has shown in 2022 – and as he reveals to Autosport – Marini is so much more than just the brother of a legend

MotoGP
Dec 6, 2022
Ranking the top 10 riders of MotoGP 2022 Plus

Ranking the top 10 riders of MotoGP 2022

The 2022 MotoGP season was another hotly contested championship, with Francesco Bagnaia emerging as the title winner after the campaign went to the wire. Autosport picks out the 10 best performers of the season

MotoGP
Nov 29, 2022