In the two seasons following his impressive runner-up campaign, Franco Morbidelli has struggled to replicate his previous success.
Despite standing on the podium six times in the 16 races between Brno 2020 and Jerez 2021, including three victories, Morbidelli has failed to make a significant impact in the past 29 races, with a highest finish of seventh in the wet and tenth in the dry.
As the first satellite rider to achieve such success since Marco Melandri in 2005, many are questioning what has caused this drop in performance for the young Italian rider. Another factor to consider is that Morbidelli’s success in 2020 came on the back of a consistent and well-developed package with the Petronas SRT team.
In contrast, his 2021 season with Monster Energy Yamaha was plagued by inconsistencies and a lack of familiarity with the new team and bike. Additionally, the knee surgery likely affected his performance and ability to adapt to the new team and equipment.
Franco Morbidelli’s Performance
All of these factors likely contributed to his drop in performance and results over the past 29 races.”The knee injury was a major factor in Frankie’s results, as he was out for five races, and then we brought him into the factory team after Maverick Vinales’ departure. This sudden change in teams and bikes may have also contributed to his lack of consistency.”
According to Jarvis, Morbidelli’s knee injury and early return to racing with the factory team were major factors in his poor performance during the past 29 races. Despite being drafted in to replace Maverick Vinales, Jarvis admits that Morbidelli was not fully fit and this affected his performance.
Yamaha Racing Managing Director, Lin Jarvis, attributes the lack of success for Franco Morbidelli in the past 29 races to a major knee ligament surgery that he underwent in the summer of 2021, which caused him to miss five races. Jarvis said that Morbidelli wasn’t race-fit when he joined the factory team at Misano 2021 and that was a reason for his poor performance last year.
Jarvis attributes Morbidelli’s lack of performance to his knee injury, which caused him to miss five races in 2021, and his early return to racing before he was fully fit. He also stated that the changes made to the Yamaha M1 since Morbidelli’s successful run in 2020 have knocked the former Moto2 champion’s form out of kilter.
Lin Jarvis Statement
Jarvis hopes to give Morbidelli a more user-friendly bike in the future and to create more margin in the bike’s performance, in order to help Morbidelli rediscover his confidence and extract the maximum potential out of the package.
Read More:- Stefan Bradl: The Challenges of Being a Test Rider in MotoGP and the Weight of Replacing Marc Marquez
“It’s a tough situation for the team-mate, and I think it’s fair to say that Frankie has been in that situation in the last two years, where Fabio has been able to extract a lot of performance from the package and Frankie has not been able to do that.
“We know he can be fast, he’s a race winner and a vice-champion, but he needs better tools to help him in that process. Our goal is to give him a better bike for the future and make it more user-friendly. He has to rediscover himself and we have to give him better tools to help him in that process.”
With his contract set to expire at the end of 2023, Morbidelli faces competition to retain his seat from Toprak Razgatlioglu, Yamaha’s WorldSBK champion, and Jorge Martin of Pramac Ducati.