Franco Morbidelli's second MotoGP victory at Aragon on Sunday propelled the Petronas Yamaha star to within 25-points of title leader Joan Mir, with three rounds to go.

The only Yamaha rider not on a factory-spec bike, Morbidelli took over the race lead when LCR Honda's Takaaki Nakagami crashed on the opening lap and was never headed.

The result also catapulted Morbidelli above both Nakagami and Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso to fourth place in the championship standings, while gaining nine-points on Mir.

"Yeah. Apparently today we are back in the [title] game," said Morbidelli, who had previously suggested the lack of top speed from his satellite machine meant he shouldn't think too much about the world championship.

"We are 25 points from the top, and we are forced to face these last three races of the championship in full attack mode. We cannot make any mistakes and must just try to work very hard, very well and see where we are at the end.

"To be fourth in the championship so late in the season is a great thing in itself," he added. "This is MotoGP. This is what I was dreaming about when I was a little kid, what I was dreaming about last year, two years ago. So it’s a great situation for me.

"But you know when you’re in the game, you always want more. So I will always push for more.

"In the beginning of the year, I wasn’t thinking about anything. I don’t like to make any predictions. I just like to go on track and give everything and see where I am after."

Morbidelli has not only moved within 'one race win' of the title lead but is now just 11 points behind team-mate Fabio Quartararo and 6 adrift of factory Yamaha's Maverick Vinales, who sit second and third in the standings.

In other words, it's become even less clear which rider now offers Yamaha the best title chance.

"It’s so funny. Yesterday I was outside of the battle, today I’m the main [Yamaha] guy," said Morbidelli, who joins Quartararo as the only rider to win more than one race so far this season.

"There are three contenders inside Yamaha. All three are on the top and all three are in contention for the championship, yes.

"So I should focus on doing the best job I can and the other two guys should do the same. And Yamaha should push for all three."

Suzuki team-mates Alex Rins and Mir joined Morbidelli on the podium.

The first of the back-to-back Valencia rounds takes place on November 8.

 

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