Breakthrough for Franco Morbidelli at the MotoGP home race in Mugello? Wanted more!

Franco Morbidelli had to start the 2024 MotoGP season with a huge handicap after a training crash. The Pramac newcomer, who had previously only ridden Yamaha, missed the entire test ride and had to accept a cold start on Ducati. The breakthrough finally seems to have come at the home race in Mugello. But the Italian wants more.

Despite best weekend in a long time: Morbidelli not entirely satisfied

Given the difficult circumstances, Pramac’s team manager Gino Borsoi had given Morbidelli a period of at least five race weekends to get used to things. The seventh seems to have been the right time. ‘Franky’ took home 16 World Championship points after fourth place in the sprint and sixth place in the Grand Prix. That was one more than in the entire six race weekends before. Morbidelli had not made it into the top 6 in a dry race since Jerez 2021. The 2020 runner-up now seems to be slowly getting back into the swing of things and is able to convert the best bike in MotoGP into results.

MotoGP wears down its riders: Inhuman strain in Mugello (07:18 min.)

“That was a solid weekend. We are getting better. We can improve day by day,” Morbidelli himself stated. But a look at teammate and world championship leader Jorge Martin shows that there is even more to be done with the Pramac package. Morbidelli therefore held back on his celebrations: “Actually, I had hoped for more from this race. But at a certain point I had to hold back because I was pushing the brakes too far.”

“But it was still a positive weekend at our home race, of course, after we had a taste of it in Barcelona but didn’t finish,” he added. In the last few races, the chance of a good result was usually lost as soon as the starting lights went out. “This weekend we managed to improve our starts and bring our real potential to the finish,” the 29-year-old was relieved to say.

Franco Morbidelli fights to stay in MotoGP: Pramac claim is the top

“It’s another step forward. We’ve made progress every weekend,” said Morbidelli, praising himself and his team. But the level is not yet good enough for last year’s team world champions. “I’m still 9 seconds from the top. That’s quite a gap,” said the Italian. Teammate Martin fought for the podium in Mugello as he always does and ended up third, one second behind.

Franco Morbidelli in the Pramac box
Franco Morbidelli fights to stay in MotoGP, Photo: LAT Images

To achieve such results, Morbidelli needs even more progress because his MotoGP future is at stake. Although Martin will leave the team for Aprilia, Ducati has already signed a rider in Fermin Aldeguer, who will most likely end up at Pramac. There is only one place left, and Morbidelli will have to prove himself in the next few races. Mugello was certainly a good start.

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