He might have the speed, but Saturday afternoon at Mandalika is one to be soon forgotten for Franco Morbidelli. First the crash in qualifying, then the decision of the Race Direction to sanction him by three positions on the grid for not respecting the starting procedure at the end of FP3.
Tomorrow Franco will therefore start from the 15th spot, but there is still confidence on his part, especially in what could be the potential of his M1 in the race.
“I am very disappointed about this penalty, but the decision is correct – commented the Yamaha rider – Unfortunately yesterday I did not go to the Safety Commission meeting, where the new procedure for practice starts was announced. This morning I skipped the line and I was rightly penalized. In this regard, Dorna’s communication with the new rule arrived in the morning, but I didn’t pay much attention to it. As said, it is my mistake and the penalty is correct”.
As if that weren’t enough, Franco’s Saturday afternoon had already been tainted by a fall.
“That was also my mistake, as I went on the wet part in turn 5. I lost the front and ended up on the ground. Too bad, but that’s how it went. Once I got back to the garage I then had to use a used medium tire from FP4 and compared to my time I lost six tenths in the second sector. Let’s say it wasn’t my perfect afternoon…”.
Best to think about the race therefore…
“Maybe here at Mandalika it won’t be so easy to overtake, but nothing is impossible, because we are fast. I am of the opinion that in every curve you can overtake. On Sunday I would like to score some good points because we are fast. We are starting from the back, it’s not the best, but we want to do our best. “