‘Top speed, flow’ - Morbidelli makes 2023 Yamaha fairing choice

Franco Morbidelli will join Yamaha team-mate Fabio Quartararo in starting the 2023 MotoGP season using the older Yamaha fairing.
Franco Morbidelli, Portimao MotoGP test, 12 March
Franco Morbidelli, Portimao MotoGP test, 12 March

Former champion Quartararo hailed a ‘massive step’ after switching to last year’s aero package, paired with the new engine and old chassis settings, on the final day of winter testing.

But Morbidelli faced a more complicated choice for the season ahead.

The Italian had continued working with brand-new aero parts until the close of testing and therefore didn’t try the older fairing.

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MotoGP rules allow only one update to the ‘Aero Body’ during the season, meaning the wrong choice could severely impact a rider’s season.

But after analysis of the test data, Morbidelli - who was just 19th fastest, but within 1.1s of the top - will join Quartararo (third quickest) in running the smaller fairing when opening practice begins on Friday morning in Portimao.

“I expect improvements from the test because the gap was, not a lot, but in this MotoGP [era it is] a lot. So I expect to be better than the test,” Morbidelli said on Thursday.

“Because of everything we collected in the tests… we will start with the combination that we think is best.”

And that combination will include the older fairing.

“That's something I will put on, yes,” Morbidelli confirmed, adding that it should provide: “More top speed and better flow through the corners.”

The 28-year-old, looking to rebound from a career-worst 19th in last year’s MotoGP standings, is also eager to see how the more powerful M1 engine performs in battle.

“We need to see when we are going to be all together, but I strongly believe [we can fight].”

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