Morbidelli: It's great luck we’re fine

Franco Morbidelli escapes injury in a last lap collision with Maverick Viñales; feels he had the pace to run with Valentino Rossi and Andrea Dovizioso until the end.
Morbidelli: It's great luck we’re fine

Franco Morbidelli has put a recent escape from injury down to “great luck” after the Italian’s best MotoGP showing to date came undone in a last-lap collision with Maverick Viñales.

While contesting sixth place with Viñales and Danilo Petrucci on the final lap of the Grand Prix of Argentina, Morbidelli tagged his fellow Yamaha man’s rear tyre at turn seven as the #12 was attempting to accelerate under the Ducati.

Morbidelli brushed off the collision, explaining how he had arrived with greater speed than before, thanks to receiving a double slipstream from the two bikes ahead.



“I was too fast,” he admitted, while pointing to Viñales’ reduced speed mid-corner as another factor in the crash. Thankfully both riders were uninjured.

“I was pushing to try to reach at least sixth position,” said Morbidelli. “I didn’t want to overtake anyone there. I just arrived in turn seven with a double slipstream.

“I was trying to stop but me arriving with double slipstream speed and Maverick, who got past Petrucci and was trying to cut the line to overtake him back.

“I was a bit too fast. He slowed down to try and cut the line. These two things together didn’t go well. But it’s a great luck that we are both fine.”

Soon after the hit, Viñales approached Morbidelli in the gravel trap to check on his colleague’s condition. He just asked me if I was alright because I was on the ground,” he said. “I was a bit in pain. But he came over and asked me if I was alright.”

Viñales also refused to make a big deal out of the crash, describing it as a “racing incident.”

It was a sorry end to Morbidelli’s afternoon, after the former Moto2 world champion built on a best MotoGP qualifying performance of sixth to mix it with fellow Italians Valentino Rossi and Andrea Dovizioso in a tight eight-rider fight for second.

The 24-year old was convinced he had the speed and grip in his rear tyre to push Rossi for second until the closing laps. The top speed advantage of Jack Miller and Petrucci’s Ducati put paid to that, however, much to Morbidelli’s frustration.

“Unluckily maybe some riders in the pack were surprised I was there and they were faster than me on the straight so they had the chance to overtake me there.

“I lost the contact with Dovi and Vale in the moment when I started to play around with Miller and also Petrucci. It’s a pity. I said, ‘OK, I’ll let you go first and hope they will catch the gap to Vale and Dovi back’ but they didn’t.

“While I felt I could have closed the gap because I still had good grip and good tyres and I was trying to manage. But this is racing. They had an advantage on the straight and they used it every time they could.

“I would say I lost the gap because I started playing around with the Ducatis.”