Franco Morbidelli is setting his sights on a maiden MotoGP podium - and possibly even a victory challenge - after carrying his strong practice form through to the front row of the grid for the Czech MotoGP in Brno.

With a best finish of fifth in MotoGP – achieved on five occasions now - the Italian arguably came closest to breaking his top three duck last time out in Jerez before technical issues intervened.

However, the 2017 Moto2 champion has looked in strong form from the start in the Czech Republic, with championship leading Petronas SRT Yamaha team-mate Fabio Quartararo commenting he has been the faster of the two at times this weekend.



Consolidating that with a run to the front row in qualifying, Morbidelli feels he is now on the cusp of breaking through to a first MotoGP podium on Sunday.

“This weekend started well for us straight away, we immediately had a good feeling with the bike and the track, so definitely it looks like my best weekend in MotoGP so far. I will try to capitalise on this tomorrow.

“I have been fast on many weekends last year and I have been fast in Jerez, but this weekend looks like there is more speed. Definitely, I will try to get the podium I think I already deserved in Jerez and I will try to do my best tomorrow.”

However, while both Petronas SRT Yamaha riders appeared strong in terms of long stint pace, with no-one completing a race distance at Brno as yet, there remains an unknown over how the tyres will fare over the full 21 laps.

“I didn’t see anyone do a full race distance on the tyres and tyre drop is a key thing [here], so we are going to jump into the unknown at some point in the race but it will be like this for everyone. It will be interesting for the fans and the riders.”