“Magic Modification” helped Morbidelli to the Jerez MotoGP podium

The 2020 championship runner-up had a hot start to the year in Qatar but was a factor in the battle for the Portimao podium in fourth place two weeks ago.

In Jerez, after qualifying in second, Morbidelli struggled early to match Yamaha colleague Fabio Quartararo and eventual winner Jack Miller.

But an arm-pump problem for Quartararo offered Morbidelli a podium finish, with the Italian finishing third behind Miller and his Ducati teammate Francesco Bagnaia.

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He says a change to his two-year-old M1 in Sunday’s warm-up gave him better grip for the race, which he can ride “aggressively” with.

“It was an incredible race,” said Morbidelli. “I put so much pressure on during the entire race, very few braking zones, that I was sure that I would stop.”

“Everyone else was questionable. But with this effort I was able to win and give the extra. We were finally rewarded with this podium. The team also did a wonderful job.”

“Ramon [Forcada] did its last magical modification this morning and I was able to increase my feeling on the bike a bit more and I could ride it really strong and aggressively.

Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“I’m very happy with the result and I’m happy. We increased our grip this morning and it paid off. It really paid off.”

“I had the feeling that there was less grip in the race, but in the end we didn’t feel that much from the modification.”

Morbidelli didn’t hide his dissatisfaction with his cycling situation in 2021 as he was forced to stick with the older ‘A-spec’ M1.

This made his Jerez podium “wonderful”, especially since MotoGP has gotten “tougher this year”.

“It feels wonderful to be on the podium with what we have,” he added. “The championship certainly got tougher this year and we had to improve our game to stay in a similar position to last year.

“And I think we’re doing this by getting out of our comfort zone and trying to risk a lot. But it paid off at Portimao and it is paying off today and I’m really enjoying this moment.”