Morbidelli has been a Yamaha rider in MotoGP since 2019 when he joined Petronas SRT following two seasons with Marc VDS Honda.
Winning all three of his grands prix on an M1 run by SRT, he was promoted to the factory Yamaha squad halfway through the 2021 season following Maverick Vinales’ split with the team.
Struggling for form on the factory Yamaha, the Japanese marque elected to replace him with Alex Rins for 2024 – though Morbidelli has landed on his feet with a factory Ducati at Pramac after Marco Bezzecchi elected to remain at the VR46 squad.
Morbidelli enjoyed a strong Malaysian GP, guiding his Yamaha to seventh, which he called a “crucial” result.
“It’s crucial,” he said. “I mean, to have good performances, it’s great for the confidence, it’s great for the future, what’s expected of me. It’s great for the team, it’s great for everybody to be fast.”
When asked by Motorsport.com if it was important to go out swinging as a Yamaha rider, rather than simply get to the finish in one piece ahead of his first test on the Ducati on 28 November in Valencia, Morbidelli said: “It’s not my style, it’s never going to be. I’m a racer.
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Luca Marini, VR46 Racing Team, Franco Morbidelli, Yamaha Factory Racing
“I’m a rider. I was born on a pocket bike. My father was a mechanic. I smelt fuel since I was born and I always give my 200% when I go on a bike because that’s what I love to do.
“So, I’m not bringing the bike around the track here. I’m giving my life here.
“So, that’s what I will do forever, for all my career. Even if it looks like I’m not. Even if I’m laid back and it looks like I’m not [pushing].”
Morbidelli currently sits 13th in the standings on 93 points heading into the last two rounds in Qatar and Valencia, with his best weekend so far remaining his brace of fourths in Argentina back in April.