The long awaited return to action for MotoGP riders finally took place today with day one of official testing in Qatar now over. 

That meant a return to action for 2020 vice-champion Franco Morbidelli who finished the opening day as the leading Yamaha in seventh, two places ahead Maverick Vinales.

It was a positive first day back onboard his M1 Yamaha for Morbidelli, a feeling the Italian certainly missed: "It's great to be back on the bike, I was missing that feeling and missing being on my M1.

"The smooth feeling, the speed, and the power of my Yamaha and MotoGP bike I was missing in general. Today the afternoon and the night went pretty well.

"Basically we focused on trying to get the feeling back and to understand how the condition of the track was and how we could adapt to the condition. I think that the condition was changing quite a lot, so we just focused on completing some laps.

"As I said yesterday, the bike is pretty much the same but with many small details in order to improve the package, so I want to thank Yamaha again for this."

It was also the first day that Morbidelli got to share the pit box with his friend and mentor Valentino Rossi

Petronas is cerntainly winning style points in 2021 with nine-time world champion and fan favorite Rossi, and the extremely cool Morbidelli. 

Asked about having Rossi with him in the garage brought out a fun response from the former Moto2 champion. 

Morbidelli said: "Yeah, he yells a lot, and he talks very loud. Vale talks very loud and it makes me laugh. I enjoy listening to his voice, not just in the pit box, but also in the office. 

"Apart from this I think it was a special day for the team and for him. I asked Uccio how they were feeling and they are feeling very well within the team.

"I’m really happy about that and the work has started already and they are doing their job. I hope they do very well, but I will try to be better."

One of the big problem areas for Yamaha in recent seasons has been their top end speed. In 2020 all four Yamahas were consistently at the bottom in this area.

However, Morbidelli believes the bike has already improved in this area: "Being faster on the straight is more down to the bike than the rider. So I would say already that the bike has improved compared to last year, so I ride a better bike than last year, that I can say." 

Both riders will once again be in action tomorrow, before a second three day test on March 10-12.