MotoGP: Another race to forget for Morbidelli, Rossi

by BERNAMA / pic by AFP

KUALA LUMPUR – It was another tough night in Qatar for PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team’s MotoGP riders Franco Morbidelli and Valentino Rossi (picture), who ended the Grand Prix (GP) of Doha 12th and 16th respectively, last night

This was the second of two back-to-back races at the Losail International Circuit after last weekend’s first race of the 2021 season which saw Morbidelli and Rossi finish 12th and 18th respectively.

After starting the 22-lap MotoGP race in tenth place, Morbidelli was sucked into the pack and ended up 13th at the end of the opening lap.

Despite battling hard in an attempt to make his way through the field, the Italian could not make any progress due to the condition of his tyres.

“I wasn’t able to be strong enough in the final laps because of tyre issues and having to fight from tenth meant that I wasn’t able to exploit the potential I had at the start of the race,” he said in a statement today.

Morbidelli’s team-mate Rossi also experienced a difficult start to the race.

Although he was able to gain three places into the first corner, it was not long before the Italian found himself back down in his original starting position of 21st.

After being unable to make any ground on those ahead of him for the first half of the race, Rossi experienced a second wind in the closing stages, moving into 16th with three laps to go and maintained this position till the finish line.

“My pace was not so bad, but it was not enough to stay with the group, especially in the first laps. I thought that I could stay with the group in front, but we did not have enough to do so,” said Rossi.

Monster Energy’s Fabio Quartararo won the race while Pramac Racing’s Johann Zarco and Jorge Martin completed the podium after finishing second and third respectively.

Malaysia’s Moto2 rider, Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah endured another dismal outing after finishing the race in 21st place while in Moto3 action, PETRONAS Sprinta Racing’s Darryn Binder secured another podium finish, emerging second behind Pedro Acosta of Red Bull KTM Ajo. Niccolo Antonelli of the Avintia Esponsorama Racing team came in third.

There will now be a short break before all riders are back in action, with the Algarve International Circuit hosting the Portuguese GP from April 16-18.