Moto2 world champion and MotoGP world runner-up in 2017 and 2020 respectively, Franco Morbidelli finished the last two seasons in 17th and 19th place. Valentino Rossi’s pupil was away from five Grands Prix in 2021 after injuring his left knee and when he returned to the championship it was to defend the colors of the Yamaha factory team after the somewhat abrupt departure of Maverick Viñales.
Although he managed to race all this last season, Morbidelli had a Fabio Quartararo at his side who managed to fight for the championship despite the #20 also having its difficulties aboard the M1. However, while the 2021 champion has a contract for two more seasons, Morbidelli has a guaranteed place at Yamaha until the end of 2023.
In that sense, Lin Jarvis – Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing and Team Principal at Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – was in conversation with Motorsport in Sepang and made clear the need for the #21 to deliver results if he wants to remain in the team:
– He needs good results, it’s as simple as that. This is a very competitive world. Last year, only Fabio was able to deliver a great performance, but that is too risky in the current circumstances. With only two riders, we need both to be fast. If Franco proves he can do it, there’s no reason to think he won’t be with us next season.