Morbidelli makes impressive MotoGP debut in Qatar
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Franco Morbidelli made an impressive MotoGP debut by finishing twelfth in today's Qatar Grand Prix.
In the 22-lap race at the Losail International Circuit Morbidelli put in a classy and controlled performance to finish just 16 seconds behind race winner Andrea Dovizioso.
Morbidelli started fourteenth and was immediately comfortable racing in traffic and challenging for a top ten position. At the finish the Italian rider, in his first race aboard the Honda RC213V, was just 1.7s out of a top ten finish.
Both Morbidelli and Tom Lüthi exceeded expectations in their debut outings in MotoGP for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS.
While Lüthi was satisfied to finish sixteenth with a solid race in the windy and dusty conditions he was disappointed not be in the points after running wide under braking.
After a three-week break MotoGP assembles in Argentina for the second race of the season on April 8.
Franco Morbidelli: 12th
“This was a better result than I expected and a very good first race for me, I'm happy especially with the commitment I had from the team. I had good speed but the most important thing was to finish the race and learn and I was able to do this. Early in the race I was with Jorge Lorenzo and Maverick Viñales and this was nice feeling. Now I have to continue to understand more about MotoGP and improve.”
Tom Lüthi: 16th
“I'm happy although with mixed feelings because even though I'm out of the points 16th is good result in my first race and closer than I thought I would be after the winter tests. In the race I had some issues in the braking area and ran wide a couple of times and lost a lot of time. But overall I was able to use a lot of things we learned in testing. Now we need to analyse everything and work to improve for the next race in Argentina.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“This was fantastic race by Franco who finished in the points and just 16 seconds from the winner in his first MotoGP race. He exceeded my expectations today and was able to keep a good pace when grip levels went down late in the race. I was also impressed by Tom who had a very consistent pace, although he lost some time when he ran wide in turn one early in the race and he finished just one position out of the points. I think we can leave Qatar in a positive mood after very good performances by both our rookie riders.”