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Pramac’s Morbidelli still “missing freedom” on Ducati MotoGP bike

Pramac Ducati MotoGP rider Franco Morbidelli says he is still “missing knowledge” and the “freedom” to ride the Ducati by instinct after two rounds of the 2024 campaign.

Franco Morbidelli, Pramac Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

The three-time MotoGP race winner endured a difficult Portuguese Grand Prix weekend despite making a step forward with his understanding of the GP24.

Qualifying in 17th, Morbidelli finished 18th in the grand prix after crashing on the opening lap in an incident that left Honda’s Joan Mir unhappy.

Morbidelli’s transition from Yamaha to Ducati for 2024 has been hugely affected by the concussion he suffered in a training crash that forced him to miss all of pre-season testing.

As such, Morbidelli says he isn’t able to ride the GP24 by instinct at the moment and is thinking too much about the process.

“What I’m missing the most now on the bike is knowledge and freedom of doing things by reflex,” he said.

“I need to think too much about engaging the devices, on the gear lever, which is different to what I’m used to.

“I’m thinking about things right now and not focusing on riding and maximising the riding. But that’s what happens when you don’t have kilometres. We are lacking that.”

Franco Morbidelli, Pramac Racing

Franco Morbidelli, Pramac Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Morbidelli declined to offer comparisons between the Yamaha and the Ducati bikes out of respect, but did state that he was “impressed” by the fact his pace in the Portuguese GP was good enough for the top eight despite his limitations.

“I don’t want to make comparisons because it wouldn’t be fair,” he said, when asked to compare the M1 and the GP24. “I like to remain gentlemanly on this.

“What I can say is that I feel good with this bike, very good. If you check out the rhythm also on the race, riding without freedom and thinking about many things, so riding with margin, the rhythm was still good, was still good enough to be sixth, seventh.

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“That was the most impressive, I was impressed by that. I feel very good with the package and I feel a lot of potential with the package.

“It’s a matter of getting used as much as possible to being on the bike and in the shortest time possible to take out the maximum potential of the bike, which I’m still not doing.”

Watch: MotoGP: Jorge Martin masters Portimao | 2024 #PortugueseGP

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