Morbidelli 'confident' after 'very fast' test form

'We tested the bike at Jerez last November and we were very fast then, so I'm confident' – Franco Morbidelli, Spanish MotoGP.
Morbidelli 'confident' after 'very fast' test form

Petronas Yamaha SRT riders Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli head to the opening European round of the 2019 MotoGP season at Jerez this weekend on the back of their best MotoGP results so far.

Morbidelli claimed the new team's best result so far with fifth place in Texas and feels confident for Jerez after being just 0.173s from the fastest lap time during November's test at the Spanish track.

"Jerez is a very nice circuit and I like it a lot; we have already tested the bike there last November and we were very fast then, so I'm confident that we can do well and have enough potential to be fast there this weekend," he said. "The only unknown aspect is the [track] conditions that we will encounter.

"I’m very happy after the top five finish in the USA, but we must continue in the same way, with the pace we have shown since the first race. We have been fast, consistent and strong. I feel good with the team and with the bike, but we have to find a way to improve during the year, so we will have to remain strong and try to climb up the standings."

Indeed, rookie team-mate Quartararo (on a slightly lower spec M1) is currently one place higher than Morbidelli in the championship standings, holding tenth overall after his seventh place in COTA.

The newly 20-year-old - one of the surprises of the season so far - is also leading the Rookie of the Year standings. Quartararo was twelfth fastest (+0.8s) at the November test, since which substantial resurfacing has taken place.

"As always, I have been training a lot over these past couple of weeks, but above all I have been enjoying time with family and friends. I have also been able to celebrate my birthday with them," said the Frenchman.

"Jerez is a different track for me, because it is a circuit where we have already ridden with the bike. We will try to have a good FP1 and keep inside the Top 10 throughout the whole weekend, which is our main objective.

"The bike is different now than it was at the test, but it is also positive to have tested there beforehand. At the moment, my goal is to be inside the Top 10, but if we have a good pace then I’m sure that we will be able to fight for a good result."