Morbidelli claims a superb ninth in hot and fast Spanish GP
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Franco Morbidelli scored his first top ten finish in MotoGP with a superbly judged ride into ninth place in the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez.
With a fast start and dash through the traffic Morbidelli moved from 15th to 12th on the opening lap before settling into a smooth race rhythm that had him settled in tenth by lap eight.
Morbidelli’s pace and patience as grip levels went down late in the race were rewarded with ninth at the finish ahead of factory KTM riders Mika Kallio and Pol Espargaro.
For Tom Lüthi the race was another signal of his MotoGP potential despite failing to finish when he crashed out at turn 11 with ten laps remaining.
At the time of his exit Lüthi, who was back in 21st on lap one, was in a close battle with Tito Rabat who finished in the points in 14th.
The next race in two weeks is the French GP at Le Mans.
Franco Morbidelli: 9th
“It was a positive race for me, I was able to make a strong start and with good grip I was fast and able to make some positions. I tried to manage the tyre for the second half of the race but towards the end I had to slow down and make sure I got this top ten finish. It is great for our team and also for my feeling for the coming races.”
Tom Lüthi: DNF
“I was struggling with the front at the beginning of the race with a full fuel load but then I was able to pick up the pace and got involved in a good battle with Tito Rabat. But as the race went on it was difficult to hold the pace and I lost the front in turn 11 which unfortunately ended my race.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“This was a really good race by Franco so I am happy for this top ten result which is always the goal for a private team. This makes up a little for our poor result in Texas. I feel for Tom, it is a shame he crashed because he was fighting with Tito who finished in the points and I am sure Tom is capable of being in the points in the future.”