Morbidelli delighted at runner-up spot in MotoGP standings

Petronas Yamaha rider Franco Morbidelli says cementing second place in this year's MotoGP standings was more important to him than winning his last-lap battle with Jack Miller in Portugal.

Morbidelli delighted at runner-up spot in MotoGP standings

While Tech 3 KTM rider Miguel Oliveira romped to a fairytale victory from pole on home soil at Portimao on Sunday, Morbidelli sat in the runner-up spot until the final lap, when Miller passed him at the Turn 13 hairpin and fended him off around the final few corners.

But third place was still good enough for the Italian to maintain his hold on second in the championship ahead of Suzuki's Alex Rins, who finished down in 15th.

Rins' teammate Joan Mir had already wrapped up the title last time out at Valencia.

"I'm more happy about the second place in the championship than the place lost on the last lap," Morbidelli said. "Jack was very good, very strong, especially at the end, he was stronger than me, he was clever.

"He was able to overtake me and he didn't give me the chance to retaliate. So huge congratulations to him and also Miguel, who was untouchable today.

"I tried it in the beginning just to see if I was able to stay close to him, but I wasn't. I realised in the beginning quite soon that I wasn't able to stay with him.

"Then I tried to just push at 200 percent, tried to risk a lot anyway because I wanted to make a podium finish in the last race of the championship and finally we did it."

The battle for second in the standings

Pos. Rider Bike Points Portimao finish
2 Italy Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 158 3rd
3 Spain Alex Rins Suzuki 139 15th
4 Italy Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 135 6th
5 Spain Pol Espargaro KTM 135 4th
6 Spain Maverick Vinales Yamaha 132 11th
7 Australia Jack Miller Ducati 132 2nd

Morbidelli's third season in the premier class yielded three victories - equal to teammate Fabio Quartararo's haul - and a further two podium, as well as two pole positions.

Looking ahead to next year, when he will partner mentor Valentino Rossi at Petronas, Morbidelli says he now has more "self-trust" in his abilities and will have higher expectations.

"I will have more knowledge about myself," he added. "I will have more self-trust and I will have more expectations because we know what we can do and we know what we can do when things are at its place.

"For sure next year is going to be an important year for us and it's going to be an interesting year, but after all we are satellite riders, I will be a satellite rider. I will have expectations, but not too much because I will anyway [still] be a satellite rider."

shares
comments

Related video

Dovizioso “happier than some in Ducati” with MotoGP achievements

Previous article

Dovizioso “happier than some in Ducati” with MotoGP achievements

Next article

Savadori named at Aprilia on provisional MotoGP 2021 entry list

Savadori named at Aprilia on provisional MotoGP 2021 entry list
Load comments
Why MotoGP will miss its gentle giant Prime

Why MotoGP will miss its gentle giant

Danilo Petrucci’s days in MotoGP appear numbered, as KTM looks to completely reshuffle the Tech3 team for 2022. Though the Italian's 2021 season so far hasn’t been standout, the giant Italian covertly became a top runner in MotoGP across the last decade and brought with him a personality that world sport sorely needs more of

MotoGP
Jul 22, 2021
Why Mir's MotoGP title defence can't be written off yet Prime

Why Mir's MotoGP title defence can't be written off yet

Joan Mir’s defence of his MotoGP title has had an underwhelming start as Suzuki didn’t progress its championship-winning GSX-RR as much as its rivals did with their bikes over the winter. Speaking to Motorsport.com, Mir lays out why his title defence has been stalled so far and why he’s confident title number two is still within reach

MotoGP
Jul 12, 2021
How Quartararo became the MotoGP leader Yamaha needed Prime

How Quartararo became the MotoGP leader Yamaha needed

It's been six years since Jorge Lorenzo gave Yamaha its last MotoGP title in 2015. Since his departure at the end of 2016, Yamaha's form has been inconsistent but it has at last found a new talisman to return it to the top spot in the form of a precociously talented Frenchman who currently leads the standings.

MotoGP
Jul 6, 2021
Why the Vinales/Yamaha MotoGP divorce satisfies both parties Prime

Why the Vinales/Yamaha MotoGP divorce satisfies both parties

On Monday, Yamaha announced it will part ways with Maverick Vinales at the end of the 2021 season - a move requested by the rider. As the already strained relationship between both parties in MotoGP hit rock bottom in recent weeks, this divorce - as Oriol Puigdemont writes - is good for both Yamaha and Vinales for a number of reasons

MotoGP
Jun 28, 2021
The unexpected Rossi/Ducati MotoGP sequel offering redemption Prime

The unexpected Rossi/Ducati MotoGP sequel offering redemption

A decade after first linking up with Ducati in what turned out to be an ill-fated period in his MotoGP career, Valentino Rossi has joined forces with the Italian marque once more - this time as a team owner. And the VR46/Ducati tie-up beginning in 2022 has the potential to right the wrongs of Rossi and Ducati's nadir of 2011/2012.

MotoGP
Jun 24, 2021
Why Yamaha is about to risk losing Valentino Rossi Prime

Why Yamaha is about to risk losing Valentino Rossi

With Valentino Rossi’s next career move imminent in MotoGP, it is set to have wide-reaching influences on a number of riders and teams on the grid. But one of the biggest impacts will be felt at Yamaha, with its pivotal role in the saga set to see it lose its appointment with ‘The Doctor’

MotoGP
Jun 22, 2021
How Marquez beat his Honda in his heroic MotoGP comeback win Prime

How Marquez beat his Honda in his heroic MotoGP comeback win

Marc Marquez has been through hell and back in the 581 days between his win in the 2019 Valencia season finale and his heroic MotoGP comeback victory in Germany last Sunday. Despite battling physical limitations and a difficult 2021-spec Honda, the Sachsenring provided the perfect storm for the Spaniard to return to the top step

MotoGP
Jun 21, 2021
Why Quartararo’s suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP Prime

Why Quartararo’s suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP

OPINION: Fabio Quartararo racing with his leather suit open and subsequent penalty has been the main talking point of the Catalunya MotoGP weekend, which has highlighted a wider issue with MotoGP’s stewarding that risks a negative precedent going forward.

MotoGP
Jun 8, 2021