MotoGP fans are eagerly awaiting the season opening race at Jerez this coming weekend, which will feature two consecutive rounds, followed the weekend after by the World Superbike Championship (WSBK). With a six-month hiatus due to the Cover-19 pandemic and lockdowns, MotoGP teams, along with Moto2 and Moto3, are anticipating a truncated racing season with 13 races in the calendar.
Speaking to paultan.org via an online interview, Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team (SRT) rider Franco Morbidelli, who recently signed a two-year contract, is excited about getting back in the saddle. This is despite riding what is effectively last season’s YZR-M1 racing machine due to the MotoGP 2020 moratorium on testing and race development.
“The bike I am riding this year is the same as last year, but a few small changes. I cannot go into the technicals but it is the same bike,” Morbidelli said. “For the race this weekend, I am excited to be racing and will be pushing hard to give the results,” he continued.
With the game of musical chairs for the 2021 season now in full swing with major changes happening in the teams, Morbidelli’s team mate Fabio Quartararo has moved up to the Yamaha Factory Racing works team, riding alongside Maverick Vinales. Quartararo takes fan favourite Valentino Rossi’s seat, begging the question of where does Rossi go considering he has a contract with Yamaha till 2021.
Speculation is rife Rossi will be moving to the Petronas SRT satellite team, considering the Italian’s racer’s star power with fans, especially in Asia, is still strong. “I don’t know yet who will be coming to Petronas SRT in 2021, I am not allowed to say much about it. For sure, if it is Rossi, it will be a good thing,” said Morbidelli.
Coming with diverse and extensive experience in heavy engineering, Mohan enjoys making anything with wheels go fast, especially motorcycles. His weapon of choice is the Desmoquattro engine, and he has a penchant for anything with a dash of Italian design. Strangely enough, he insists he’s a slow rider.