Friday at Mugello has gone very well for Franco Morbidelli, who places third in the combined free practice standings, the best of the Yamaha riders despite having a less advanced bike and a lower top speed compared to the competition.

“I’ve started this home round well. I immediately felt comfortable through the Mugello turns, always an emotional experience. We need to work to improve our performance though as we’re really behind in terms of our top speed, but I’m pleased with today”, comments Franco.

“It wasn’t easy to complete a clean lap without traffic though, because many riders were slowing down to wait for a tow, like in the minor classes. It’s normal at Mugello, because it’s a track where the slipstream counts also in MotoGP, but it made it harder to complete an uninterrupted lap”, continues the Petronas rider.

"It won’t be easy to run at the front in the race"

#21 also appears competitive over race distance, especially with medium tyres: “it seems like the best tyre here is the medium, and I got on well with it. We didn’t try the hard, so we don’t know what we’ll use for the race yet, but we still have tomorrow to decide”.

“All in all, I have good feeling on track and although we have low top speed, I can make up for this through the turns and the rest of the track. As for the race, I know it won’t be easy to score a good result, especially if it's a close race all the way to the line, as we’ll have little chance of being able to stay at the front”, he concludes.

Translated by Heather Watson

MotoGP, Ducati: and if Bagnaia were the right man for the title?