Sepang – Looking at his face, he seems very excited. In truth, Franco Morbidellieven in 2022, in the most difficult period of his career, he has never lost his apparent serenity, but the one who is sitting in front of us in Sepang he looks like a decidedly very, very motivated “Soft”..
“I’m very good. I’m loaded, I’m coming from a beautiful winter, during which I relaxed with my friends, with my family, with the people who love me. I trainedI thought about how to improve and achieve good results in 2023”
After such a complicated 2022, was it essential to spend a winter like this?
Yes, I needed not to go around too much, stay at home, do my usual things, stay in an extremely comfortable environment for me, be with people who love me, with my “girlfriend” (girlfriend, author’s note) …
How is the season preparing?
Each driver has his own way, has his own strategy. As far as I’m concerned, I have to find the right balance between training and rest, between leisure and seriousness. I try to be balanced.
Is this a fundamental season for Morbidelli?
It is. It always is when your contract is about to expire (unlike many of his rivals, Franco’s contract expires at the end of 2023, ed.): results are important for being able to have a “saddle” for the following year. It’s fundamental because after a year and a half it’s not very easy we have to see if I’ll be able to get back to the levels I was used to.
You seem optimistic that you can make it.
Yes, I’m optimistic: the track, when I’m in training, gives me good answers. Let’s see in the race.
You know well that one of the most popular questions of 2022 was: “What happened to Morbidelli”? I ask you the same question too.
I was taken aback by the new bike, I didn’t adapt: it was my fault and I’m sorry. But at the end of the year I found a little more of the confidence I needed to push the M1 to the max. It took time.
From what we saw during the “shakedown” it seems that Yamaha worked hard during the winter.
Yamaha is working very hard: I spoke many times with the engineers, who during the winter have always been very happy and eager to explain to me what they were going to do, they kept me constantly updated on the M1 news. I felt a great energy around the development of the bike, always in Yamaha style: no revolution, but a great desire to improve. I felt positive energy.
Have you talked to Crutchlow?
Yes. I saw a big smile on his face: this makes me want to get on track even more.
What do you expect from these three days?
Lots of work, lots of new things to try: you have to be precise in choosing the material. We have so many options.
Pecco Bagnaia, have you seen it changed?
It’s still him, he hasn’t changed at all.
But I meant not from a human point of view, but if he has greater awareness of his strength.
In training, Pecco is always difficult to decipher, but in what we do, Pecco is a great one: on the Panigale, at the Ranch, on karts, on everything we use…
Is he the driver to beat?
He is the world champion and the best driver on the grid.
What do you think of today’s MotoGP: too exasperated?
No. Everything evolves: a great job has been done to improve the show and they have succeeded. There are many riders who can fight for the win.
Agostini, however, says that it takes the great champion for a fan to become attached to a sport.
It’s an interesting point of view, but I think this is more for those who don’t follow motorcycling too much; for an enthusiast I think it’s more exciting to have the uncertainty of these years.
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