SRT Petronas Yamaha MotoGP rider Franco Morbidelli said that higher track temperatures cost him a chance of a podium, as the satellite rider finished his home Grand Prix in Misano in fifth place.
A second-row start meant Morbidelli was in with a chance of a strong finish and after enjoying a good start, the Italian found himself in fourth place in the early stages. Not able to challenge the front three of Marc Marquez, Fabio Quartararo or Maverick Vinales, Morbidelli eventually lost his fourth place to Valentino Rossi, bringing his YZR-M1 home in fifth place.
Morbidelli explained that the higher track temperatures in Misano saw grip worsen, forcing him to slow down in order to safely finish the race.
“I’m very happy about the result,” said Morbidelli.
“We were very fast all weekend and had a good feeling with the bike, but unfortunately in the race the track temperature made the grip a little bit worse than in practice and I had to slow down a little to bring it home safely.
“All the Yamahas were fast in Misano but it wasn’t like that last year, so it seems like we’ve improved and hopefully we can carry that mojo forward to next weekend too. To take a top five in front of this huge home crowd was something very special, and it was a pleasant coincidence that it was my 100th Grand Prix too.
“I still remember my first race in Misano as a wildcard in 2013; it feels like it was yesterday, but I would have never thought then that I’d be here today on such a good bike with such a good team fighting for top fives in MotoGP.”