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How a ‘butt-kicking’ helped shape MotoGP’s newest winner
It's not been the easiest of routes to the top for Franco Morbidelli, but as the San Marino GP winner tells Motorsport.com, his pasting by Fabio Quartararo in 2019 and loss of factory Yamaha support has been vital in shaping Italy's next big MotoGP hope
"In my opinion, the race went just fine." Those were Franco Morbidelli's first words in the post-race press conference at Misano he headlined after scorching to a maiden MotoGP victory in the San Marino Grand Prix.
Apparently, nothing seems to faze the Petronas SRT rider. If the world of motorcycle racing and MotoGP is thrash metal, then Morbidelli is some laid-back reggae. More than most, he understands how to put things into perspective because it's not been the easiest of roads to Misano 2020.
Pol Espargaro’s switch to Honda for 2021 was one of MotoGP’s biggest rider market shocks. But a difficult bike coupled with various external factors led to a difficult first campaign. As a critical 2022 campaign for both Espargaro and Honda looms, his 2021 experience hasn’t dented his long-held resolve
Iker Lecuona’s absence from the 2022 MotoGP grid after losing his KTM ride will likely pass most onlookers by. But after just 30 race starts in a MotoGP move he was sucked into by circumstance, the World Superbike-bound 21-year-old's story should act as a warning to KTM - and MotoGP as a whole - in regards to its future stars
That Ducati will compete with eight prototypes in MotoGP this year is nothing new, having already done so between 2016 and 2018. But the involvement and coverage of the Borgo Panigale company in its alliances is now much greater than in past years, which could have the effect of unbalancing the premier class
Doubts were cast over Yamaha’s French recruit after his disastrous end to the 2020 MotoGP season with Petronas SRT, but Fabio Quartararo answered them convincingly in 2021 to claim a MotoGP title that exhibited both his devastating speed and mental strength
Motorcycle racing's greatest showman has left the stage, as Valentino Rossi calls time on his remarkable career on two wheels. But in his successors, all of whom were inspired by 'the Doctor', grand prix racing has vibrant new acts to keep us hooked
The 2021 MotoGP season may have only just ended but preparations for 2022 are well underway following a two-day test at Jerez this week. Ducati has hit the ground running while a lack of progress dominated Yamaha’s and world champion Fabio Quartararo’s test. While no battle lines have been drawn yet for 2022, it appears Ducati has already drawn first blood...
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