The 2020 vice-world champion experienced a troubled period in MotoGP starting with the 2021 season, when he missed most of the championship with a knee injury, before moving to the Yamaha factory squad mid-year.
His situation didn’t improve in 2022, when Yamaha started to slide back in the technical hierarchies, with Morbidelli getting only 42 points and just a seventh place as best result, moreover under the rain of the Indonesian Grand Prix .
Franco started 2023 better, taking a double fourth place in the Sprint and the Argentine Grand Prix held at Termas de Rio Hondo, and after five races he is just nine points behind teammate, 2021 champion Fabio Quartararo.
But Morbidelli’s future at Yamaha after this season remains uncertain, with Ducati Pramac’s Jorge Martin being talked about as a likely option for the Iwata-based manufacturer.
Over the weekend of the GP of the Americas, Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis said he wanted the 2024 rider line-up to be completed by the summer break at the end of June, so there could be news soon.
Speaking exclusively to Motorsport.com during last month’s French GP, Morbidelli said he still feels supported by Yamaha and much more now that he’s taken a step forward from the first half of 2022.
“When I talk to the Japanese and I talk to the guys in my team, especially after the last part of last season and the start of this one, I feel that trust is much more there,” he said.
Franco Morbidelli, Yamaha Factory Racing
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
“But at the same time I have to keep going, I have to keep pushing because it’s really hard to survive and to really survive it takes a lot of effort. So, I have to keep the energy up.”
Morbidelli also said he’s not “in panic” about his situation and that he doesn’t have many doubts about his future in MotoGP.
“No, not at all,” he replied when asked if he thought people had forgotten the important achievements he’s had in the past.”
“If I kept going like at the beginning of last season, then yes. I would definitely be here in a panic and wondering what to do.”
“But now I’m very, very confident. The adversity I had last year made me a better person, a better driver, a better athlete, a better professional. And that’s what I wanted to do.”
“I wanted to up my game and battle the top performer with the package that I also have available.”
“And that seems to be happening this year and that’s the bright side of this year, and that’s the thing that doesn’t take away my confidence and doesn’t make me feel insecure about my future, because I know the situation is difficult and I know how focused and good you need to be to face the other guys in this situation”.
“So until you’re sure about your future, you always have some doubts, but not so much,” he concluded.