Franco Morbidelli says he is pleased to have had the chance to prove he can be ‘tough in a fight’ after prevailing in a thrilling final lap exchange with Jack Miller to claim his third win of the 2020 MotoGP World Championship season.

Starting from pole position, save for a brief moment at turn one when Miller nosed in front only to run wide on the exit, Morbidelli was in control of the Valencia MotoGP until the very final laps when a charging Miller worked his way back into contention.

Building up to a thrilling battle on the final revolution, twice Miller got his Ducati in front with passes at Turn 1 and Turn 3, only for Morbidelli to immediately respond each time at Turn 2 and Turn 4 before holding his nerve to take a well deserved victory.

 

 

A conclusion in some contrast to his two previous wins in Misano and Aragon, which he won dominantly, though Morbidelli’s consistency lap after lap was again key to stretching the field out for three-quarters of the race, he admits successfully toughing it out at the end was satisfying.

“My aim was to pull away and I wasn’t getting that, the maximum advantage I saw was 0.9s after 14 laps, then it started to go down so that on the last lap he was there and he overtook me. 

“Then after that it was just a matter of trying to answer every move he was doing and finally I was able to get it right and able to finish in front, which was a great, great feeling. 

“To win a race with that battle at the end is a great feeling, it’s different of course.  We are second in the championship now and I am looking forward to Portimao

Reflecting on the brilliant final lap battle, Morbidelli was proud to show he can get his elbows out when it matters, something he says many may not have been aware he was capable of before today.

“I knew I could be tough in a fight, but I hadn’t done it in top positions so it was nice to have a fight and prove myself in MotoGP against a great rider for the victory. It was good to see I was able to come out of this in a good way.”

“I don’t remember much of the last lap, sincerely. I knew I was going underneath him big time, maybe because he had the medium front and I had the hard front I was able to go underneath him. I remember thinking that I was going underneath him, no matter what.”

Morbidelli’s third win of the season draws him level with Fabio Quartararo in terms of wins, the Petronas SRT Yamaha pair the only riders to clinch more than one win in 2020 now.

It also lifts him to second in the standings with one round remaining, putting him on course to finish as the top Yamaha rider for 2020.