After points in his first two MotoGP races, Franco Morbidelli was left pondering a change of approach after sinking to 21st and last during a tough Austin Grand Prix.

Over one-minute behind race winner Marc Marquez at the end of the 20 laps, the reigning Moto2 champion is planning to go more his own way with set-up and riding style in the future.

"I struggled a lot during this race to ride the way I like to and now we need to understand the reasons why and work to improve," said the Italian, who had qualified in 17th. "I feel I need to find my own way to set-up and ride this bike for my style. At the moment I am not there."

Team-mate and fellow rookie Thomas Luthi finished three places above Morbidelli, but still heads to Europe yet to score a premier-class point.

"It is so difficult at this track in turn one when you start back on the grid, it was a big mess there," said the Swiss. "I lost some positions and was stuck back there for many laps.

"By mid-race I had problems with the front and it was difficult to turn the bike. At this track we never found a really comfortable set-up although the work from the team is brilliant in helping me to learn as a rookie. We are motivated to improve."

Team Principal Michael Bartholemy added: "This has been the most difficult race for us so far in the 2018, with both Tom and Franco complaining about how difficult it is to ride the bike here.

"We will work to find a solution for the next race and make the bike more comfortable. Not a perfect weekend in Texas but we will regroup for the next race in Jerez."

Fellow Honda rider Takaaki Nakagami was the top rookie at COTA, in 14th place.

 

 

 

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