Morbidelli Disappoints, Yamaha Still Patient


Yamaha still trusts Franco Morbidelli even though he has not shown a convincing performance since moving to the factory team. Yamaha wants to continue using Morbidelli’s services until his contract expires in 2023.

Franco Morbidelli is expected to shine after replacing Maverick Vinales, who moved to Aprilia in the middle of the 2021 season. Understandably, Morbidelli performed well when defending the Petronas Yamaha satellite team, even in the 2020 season Morbidelli finished in second place under the champion, Joan Mir.

But instead of showing his best performance, Morbidelli actually looks difficult to compete at the top. This is actually understandable, because the Italian rider had suffered a prolonged knee injury and the recovery process is still ongoing.

Morbidelli’s performance at the start of the 2022 MotoGP season is like heaven and earth when compared to his paddock partner, Fabio Quartararo. Fabio Quartararo is currently at the top of the standings with 89 points, while Morbidelli slumped to 16th with 18 points.

On the basis of this poor performance, some rumors say Morbidelli will have his contract terminated next season. However, this wild assumption was immediately denied by Yamaha Motor Racing’s Managing Director, Lin Jarvis.

“Morbidelli will be part of the official Yamaha team in 2023,” said Jarvis Speedweek.

LOMBOK, INDONESIA - MARCH 20: MotoGP rider Franco Morbidelli #21 of Italy and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™ competes during the MotoGP Grand Prix of Indonesia at Mandalika International Street Circuit on March 20, 2022 in Lombok, Indonesia.  (Photo by Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images)Franco Morbidelli Photo: Getty Images/Robertus Pudyanto

Jarvis’s statement at the same time denied the rumors about the possibility of joining WSBK racer Toprak Razgatlioglu to the Yamaha MotoGP team in the 2023 season. In essence, Jarvis does not want the incident of the initial contract termination as experienced by Vinales to repeat itself.

“Yes, I think under normal circumstances, this year Vinales should be with us in the factory team. But Frankie replaces him and his performance should be closer to Fabio. I hope it will get better quickly. We know Frankie is fast and he can. But he have to rediscover his feeling on the bike. At the same time we are trying to make the bike more competitive.”