Morbidelli: MotoGP riders should prepare to “suffer” in Catalan GP

Petronas SRT’s Franco Morbidelli believes the MotoGP field must “be ready to suffer” in Sunday’s Catalan Grand Prix as high tyre wear is expected.

Morbidelli: MotoGP riders should prepare to “suffer” in Catalan GP

Last year’s Catalan GP ultimately came down to who best preserved their rubber, with Morbidelli dropping out of the podium battle late on due to a severe drop in grip.

All riders are expecting a similar race to last year’s to pan out on Sunday, with Morbidelli admitting the choice of hard or medium rear tyre won’t have much influence on tyre preservation.

With a group of riders demonstrating similarly strong pace, Morbidelli is expecting “a fight” on Sunday.

“The race is going to be tricky, many question marks [remain] on the tyres,” he said.

“It’s going to be important to make the right choice.

“And anyway, I don’t think the choice matters: there will be degradation, there will be a performance drop.

“So, we have to be ready to suffer and fight at the end of the race especially.

“We don’t know where we can end up and we don’t have a special aim or precise aim because there is a lot of riders in the pack with a similar pace.

“So, it’s going to be tough and it’s going to be a fight.”

Morbidelli singled out poleman and 2020 Catalan GP winner Fabio Quartararo as having a little bit more in hand for the race – a view shared by a number of riders.

However, the factory Yamaha rider – who was the only rider in FP4’s race running to set any 1m39s laps – doesn’t believes he has much more to offer.

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“I don’t have much more,” he said after becoming the first rider since Marc Marquez in 2014 to score five straight poles.

“When I saw the 1m39s coming in FP4, I was quite surprised because I was close to the limit but I had not much extra.

“For sure when you are on a Sunday you want more and you can do a little bit more.

“But this is more because it’s a race day and you find a little bit more [within yourself]. But I would not say [I have] extra.”

One rider who doubts Quartararo’s true pace is world champion Joan Mir, who chased down the Frenchman for victory at Barcelona last season having had better tyre consumption on his Suzuki.

While Mir – who will start 10th having expressed concern about Suzuki’s lack of progress with its 2021 bike – is not in doubt about Quartararo’s early-race potential, he doesn’t feel the Frenchman has shown his true form on used rubber yet.

“I don’t know, because Fabio made a great pace [in FP4], but we have to analyse well, because once you stop in the box and then you restart, in this track something happens and you are almost one second slower [than on your previous run],” said Mir.

“So, he always tries to go out with new tyres and it’s true that his pace was really good and he’s doing a great job.

“But it’s not quite clear. So, for sure he will be strong, but I don’t know if he will go away. I have doubts.”

shares
comments

Related video

Vinales laments agenda behind out-of-context MotoGP future quotes
Previous article

Vinales laments agenda behind out-of-context MotoGP future quotes

Next article

Rossi feels “genuine support” from his SRT MotoGP team

Rossi feels “genuine support” from his SRT MotoGP team
Why Honda and Yamaha have been left behind in MotoGP's new era Plus

Why Honda and Yamaha have been left behind in MotoGP's new era

The once all-conquering Japanese manufacturers are going through a difficult period in MotoGP this season. With Suzuki quitting, Honda struggling to get near the podium and Yamaha only enjoying success courtesy of Fabio Quartararo, Japanese manufacturers have been left in the dust by their European counterparts. Key paddock figures explain why.

MotoGP
Jun 28, 2022
Who is Valentino Rossi’s newest MotoGP star? Plus

Who is Valentino Rossi’s newest MotoGP star?

Valentino Rossi’s protégés stole the show at Assen as Francesco Bagnaia stormed to victory to arrest a recent barren run. But it was the rider in second, on Bagnaia’s old bike, who had all eyes on him. Securing his and the VR46 team’s first MotoGP podium, Marco Bezzecchi has all the characteristics that made his mentor special

MotoGP
Jun 27, 2022
How Quartararo is evoking an absent MotoGP great in 2022 Plus

How Quartararo is evoking an absent MotoGP great in 2022

OPINION: Fabio Quartararo has seized control of the 2022 MotoGP world standings after another dominant victory as his nearest rivals faltered. And he is very much heading towards a second championship echoing how the dominator of the last decade achieved much of his success

MotoGP
Jun 20, 2022
The human importance of Marquez’s latest enforced MotoGP absence Plus

The human importance of Marquez’s latest enforced MotoGP absence

OPINION: Marc Marquez will likely sit out the remainder of the 2022 MotoGP season to undergo a fourth major operation on the right arm he badly broke in 2020. It is hoped it will return him to his brilliant best after a tough start to the season without a podium to his name. But it’s the human victory that will far outweigh any future on-track success he may go on to have

MotoGP
May 31, 2022
Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma Plus

Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma

OPINION: The French Grand Prix looks to have made Ducati’s decision on its factory team line-up simpler, as Enea Bastianini stormed to his third win of the campaign and Jorge Martin crashed out for a fifth time in 2022. But, as Ducati suggests to Autosport, it remains in the strongest position in a wild rider market

MotoGP
May 16, 2022
The seismic aftershock left by Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP Plus

The seismic aftershock left by Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP

Suzuki's sudden decision to leave the MotoGP World Championship at the end of the season has acted as a stirring element in a market that had already erupted. Autosport analyses what this means for the grid going into 2023

MotoGP
May 11, 2022
How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP’s Spanish GP Plus

How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP’s Spanish GP

Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP bike has had a tough start to life and the expected early-season title charge from Francesco Bagnaia did not materialise. But the Spanish Grand Prix signalled a turning point for both the GP22 and Bagnaia, as the 2021 runner-up belatedly got his season underway after a straight fight with Fabio Quartararo

MotoGP
May 2, 2022
How Honda's praise for its 2022 MotoGP bike has turned into doubt Plus

How Honda's praise for its 2022 MotoGP bike has turned into doubt

In a little over two months, Honda has gone from setting the pace in MotoGP testing with its new RC213V prototype to being at a crossroads - caused by the discrepancy in its riders' feedback. After a Portuguese GP that underwhelmed, serious questions are now being asked of Honda in 2022

MotoGP
Apr 26, 2022