Seventh place in the French MotoGP wasn't Franco Morbidelli's best result of the season, but the 7.2s margin to victory was the closest so far and his feeling the Petronas Yamaha the best it's been.

Starting sixth, the Italian gained a place on the opening lap before slipping to a low of eighth, but was able to keep the frontrunners in sight until the end - and hold off a charge by rookie team-mate Fabio Quartararo.

"It was a good race," Morbidelli said. "I was watching the top riders up close but couldn't catch up to them. In any case, we got a great result.

"This was the race in which I have had the best feeling so far, and this means that we are moving forward.

"We need to continue working in the same way and keep improving. The objective is to continue taking points at every race.

"We have had a good weekend in dry, wet and mixed conditions. I'm very happy; it's a good way to head into my home GP."

"Franco had a stable and consistent race, finishing seventh, and that's good when taking into account his rivals and the circumstances from yesterday," added team manager Wilco Zeelenberg.

Morbidelli's best result so far is fifth place in Austin, when he crossed the line 18 seconds from the winner. He was then 8.2s from the top on his way to another seventh place at Jerez.

Team-mate Quartararo, who slipped to 16th on the opening lap at Le Mans, finished less than one-second behind Morbidelli.



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