Morbidelli 'in survival mode'

Franco Morbidelli 'couldn’t attack anymore, I was just in survival mode' during second half of German MotoGP.
Morbidelli 'in survival mode'

Once again, the difficulties faced by mentor Valentino Rossi seemed to be replicated for Petronas Yamaha's Franco Morbidelli, in Sunday's German MotoGP.

While their respective team-mates Fabio Quartararo and Maverick Vinales started from the front row, Morbidelli and Rossi could only qualify seventh and eleventh.

Quartararo then fell on lap two of the race, with Morbidelli and Rossi once again well adrift of Vinales, who followed up his Assen victory with a runner-up finish behind Marc Marquez.

Morbidelli held eighth place, just ahead of Rossi, for the opening half of the grand prix before The Doctor moved ahead.

"It was a strange race for me. I was in the big group stretching from fourth back, but I couldn’t push anymore," Morbidelli explained.

"I was stuck basically by the rear grip and after I had another drop I couldn’t attack anymore, I was just in survival mode unfortunately.

"We came home in the top ten, but the feeling in the race was completely different from practice.

"Now we’ve got time to relax and study everything, and we can start where we left off in Brno with some new ideas.”

“We aren’t very happy with the race, with Fabio on the ground on lap two and Franco having a difficult time keeping his tyres alive," admitted Petronas team manager Wilco Zeelenberg. "But in the end, he finished the race in the best way possible, scoring valuable points after a few DNFs earlier this season."

Morbidelli - who has the same factory machinery as Vinales and Rossi - is eleventh in the world championship, three places and 15 points from rookie star Quartararo.