Franco Morbidelli will line up tenth for the Doha MotoGP Grand Prix today, but called Saturday the ‘worse day here’ in Qatar so far.  

It hasn’t been a smooth weekend so far for the Italian, who had engine related worries after smoke appeared twice from his M1 Yamaha during FP1. 

And while Morbidelli insisted it was not a worry and that the engine issues from last year have been resolved, the pace this weekend has not been as strong for the 2020 title runner-up as last weekend. 

Speaking after Q2, Morbidelli said: "Really difficult day and weekend so far. But I wouldn't say difficult, I would say really hard to understand. 

"The feeling is bad, and it remains averagely bad no matter what we do. What changes is the speed, and sometimes I feel a bit better, sometimes I feel a bit faster, but this feeling can go away from one run to another. 

"So nothing is certain, and nothing is clear. What I know is the feeling on the bike is not good, and it's difficult. 

"But never surrender and tomorrow we are going to try other things to see if we can manage to have one last chance to make this bike behave like normal." 

Given the end of season Morbidelli had where he was the most consistent rider during the final four rounds, these apparent struggles are surprising to see. 

"Let's see if we manage to do it, and if we don't manage to do it then I hope that at least the speed, not the feeling, but at least the speed is going to be similar to FP4,” added the former Moto2 champion. 

"So I hope that I'm going to have at least a decent speed to fight for interesting positions and to get some points to then find better times and a better feeling in the future. That's what I think about today."

Morbidelli is not the only rider who has struggled this weekend, and with extremely windy and sandy conditions not helping, the Italian was asked whether this has been a reason why. 

The confusion comes as a surprise due to last year when much of the field improved their performance on the second race at the same venue. 

But speaking on this, Morbidelli added: "Well I'm so glad to hear that a lot of the riders are confused! Because I am too, I really am. 

"I don't know what's going on. Something is going on and I hope that whatever is going on will go away as soon as possible, because it is tricky to work like this. 

"It’s still OK and still nice, as the worst day here riding bikes is anyway better than a normal day in life. So I still like working and I still like working with my team, trying to find out what's going on. 

"I don't like getting my butt kicked in practices and in races, and I don't like to get an awful feeling while I'm riding. But it's still OK, we've got to try to work and try to understand at least."

 

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