Petronas riders Franco Morbidelli and Valentino Rossi head into round three with just four points in the standings. The two Losail events proved difficult for both riders, albeit for different reasons, and the pair hope to get back on the right track at Portimão.
Morbido has good memories
MotoGP made its debut at this track only a few months ago, local rider Miguel Oliveira taking centre stage. Behind him Jack Miller and Franco Morbidelli battled it out for second and the Italo-Brazilian hopes for a similar race this year. “Having reached the podium in Portugal last season, I hope we can get that good rhythm back and be in the mix for a good result this weekend too. Every race is different. We have the data from last year and know we were fast, so at least we’ll have something to use as a comparison”.
“Morbido” looks on the bright side with regard to the previous races: “We’re improving in every race and have tried to understand what happened with our set-up in Qatar, we hope we've found some improvements and can continue in a positive vein this weekend”.
"Portimão? Beautiful but difficult"
The Doctor is also ready to head out back out on track and comments: “It’s wonderful, something different to all the other tracks, but it’s also very difficult. It takes time to learn this track and every time you race here you can improve on something”. Valentino Rossi wants to start out with the positive sensations found at Losail: "In the Doha GP warm-up, we found something new, which means I was able to maintain a better pace, but we were hindered by a poor starting position. We hope to be stronger in this third race, but also in the next European races”.
Translated by Heather Watson