Franco Morbidelli is confident competing on the same specification of Yamaha MotoGP bike will benefit both himself and Valentino Rossi in 2019.

The Italian rider, part of Rossi’s VR46 academy, forms half of the rider line-up of the new Petronas Yamaha SRT team alongside rookie Fabio Quartararo for this season.

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Morbidelli will race on the same factory-specification YZR-M1 as Rossi and Maverick Vinales in 2019, with Quartararo on an older specification bike, as the Sepang-run team takes over the satellite Yamaha MotoGP squad status vacated by Tech3 who will run KTM bikes from this season.

Morbidelli is hopeful he can provide useful information both to his new team and with mentor Rossi which the pair can find mutually beneficial.

“To ride the same bike I think helps us both, much more helpful for me than him, but we can share information and we can share impressions,” Morbidelli said. “This is useful for me and for him.

“Of course it is a motivation as well to ride the same bike and try to make the perfect job and try to beat him and everybody else on track. It is our aim and it is what we are trying to do.”

While finalising his pre-season testing programme for Sepang, Morbidelli is eager to find “the maximum” from the YZR-M1 having been given confidence from the rider-friendly nature of the Yamaha during his test debut at Valencia and Jerez last November.

“With the Yamaha you have the feeling that you always have a margin,” he said. “When you put the new tyre you think you could have pushed a bit more.

“It is really necessary and a rider-friendly bike so when you put a new tyre on and have grip it is impressive and how nice the feeling can be on it.

“On the Yamaha but I can say I need to understand it well and I would, at least, like to arrive at the point where I have the new tyre and I know I can give the maximum.”



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