Just one podium in the first nine races, scored by Morbidelli at Jerez, is something of a poor showing when compared to what the team achieved last season. Not exactly the season start that Johan Stigefelt expected. But the former rider, now Team Director, is not losing faith and hopes for a turnaround during the second half of the season, with the full support of Yamaha.

“We expected better results”

“It hasn’t been an easy season start, we expected better results than we’ve seen. We’re working hard and trying to take steps forward, and we’re doing that, but this might not be visible from the results on track", Johan Stigefelt tells MotoGP.com. "We need to continue to work and improve the bike. Rossi hasn’t had the perfect weekend yet. We’ve had some good qualifying sessions, practices and races but not a complete weekend where we’ve been strong as a team”.

“We need to get back to where we should be”

Stigefelt sets the goal for the second part of the season but he knows it all depends on the bike developments and Morbidelli’s physical condition, following his podium at Jerez and fourth place at Portimao. “In the second part of the season, we need to take a step forward. We’ve had some good races with Morbidelli and some good sessions. We need to start from those good races, analysing what we did well and forgetting the subsequent tough races. We need to get back to where we should be, because no one expected the position we’re in today”.

“We’ve achieved so much with Yamaha”

The Petronas Team Director sums up the relationship with Yamaha over the first three years. “Working with Yamaha these last three years has been fantastic, we’ve achieved many wins and podiums and also gained great experience. I remember the first tests at Valencia in 2018 and the great support from Yamaha and, in that respect, Yamaha has always supported us. We and Yamaha both hope to continue together and will make an announcement shortly as to whether or not we can carry on”.

Translated by Heather Watson

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