Morbidelli finishes fourteenth at heat soaked Buriram
The Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider keeps control of the Rookie of the Year classification with teammate Tom Luthi coming home in twentieth position.
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Franco Morbidelli and Tom Luthi weathered the oppressive heat and humidity at Buriram for the inaugural Thailand Grand Prix, round 15 of the MotoGP World Championship.
Franco Morbidelli was again on the edge of the top ten with the 11th fastest time in the warm-up for the 26 lap race. Morbidelli chose the hard rear tyre and settled in 14th position in the opening laps. With a focus on a points finish Morbidelli stayed calm when he slipped back to 17th on lap nine before staging a late race surge to finish 14th. With 33 points Morbidelli is now 15th in the world championship and top of the Rookie of the Year standings.
Tom Luthi was 23rd on timesheet after the warm-up and then faced torrid opening lap in heavy traffic from the eighth row of the grid. Unfortunately a mistake on lap one cost the Swiss rider dearly but Luthi was determined to keep his rhythm and complete race having also chosen the hard rear tyre. He finished in 20th position.
The next MotoGP World Championship race will be held from October 19 to 21 at the Twin Ring Motegi in Japan.
Franco Morbidelli: 14th, +22.802
“A difficult race and limited the damage to score two points”
“The race was very difficult because I struggled from the beginning with top speed and in the group I wasn’t able to brake as deep as I wanted. It was not easy get back into the points so I limited the damage and scored two valuable points.”
Tom Luthi: 20th, +39.421
“I had big moment on the first lap, the bike was out of control”
“It is pity because I made big mistake at the beginning and that destroyed my race. I had a big moment after turn three on the first lap, the bike was out of control on the brakes and difficult to stop I was on the grass and in last position. Then I lost six seconds avoiding the Taka Nakagami crash so with my race gone I just continued on to try and understand the bike more. It was good physical workout in these hot conditions.”