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MotoGP World Championship – Spain07.05.2018


Morbidelli makes the top ten

After a tough weekend in Texas, Franco Morbidelli was back on the right track in Jerez, making his first top ten in MotoGP.

The Races

Fifteenth on the starting grid, Morbidelli had a good start and sneaked through the traffic on the first lap. « I was able to take over quickly,»   says the Honda rider. «I tried to spare my tires for the second part of the race but at the end I still had to use them to be sure to finish in the top ten. It’s a good thing for the team and also for my confidence before the next races.»   Tom Lüthi fell ten laps from the finish when he was in fourteenth position. In Moto2, Alex Marquez rode two laps in the lead before letting Lorenzo Baldassari take over the Spanish Grand Prix. The Spaniard stayed on the leader’s heels until he fell just before halfway.   «I was at the limit »    he explained.   « I lacked grip on the rear wheel and I ended up by crashing.»    Ill since the start of the weekend and weakened by stomach pains, Joan Mir kept sixth place for a few laps before losing contact with the leaders to cross the finish line in eleventh position.

The Championship

In recording his first Did Not Finish of the season, Alex Marquez has dropped back to fifth place in the Moto2 world championship. Joan Mir remains in seventh position. In MotoGP, Morbidelli has climbed back from seventeenth to thirteenth place.

The Background

Ninth at the finish of the Spanish Grand Prix, Franco Morbidelli won his first MotoGP podium on the Jerez circuit. Quite a performance for the Moto2 World Championship title holder. His teammate, Tom Lüthi, is still racing after his first point in the premier-class category. Injured in late 2017 and forced to wait until the end of January to get his Honda RC213V, the Swiss rider has now taken the measure of the difficulties that face beginners.«In fact, many riders of a certain level in other championships think that MotoGP is not that complicated,» says Gille Bigot, his chief mechanic. «But it’s not so simple. In MotoGP you have a host of settings that keep your mind busy. In Moto2, things are simple. You have a front tire, two rear tires, and no electronics … Once you’ve found the right chassis / suspension match and the engine gives you speed, you have everything you need. You have 125 horsepower under the saddle, you can open and close the throttle without it having too much effect. In MotoGP, you have 280 horsepower in the engine and when you play with the throttle the response is very different.»