Franco Morbidelli will be happy to return to Portimao in just under two weeks time where he finished third last season after a tough double header in Losail. 

The Italian who remains on the year old spec M1 Yamaha, was unable to showcase the form that became a constant in 2020 and saw him finish as title runner-up. 

After suffering some mechanical issues throughout Friday and only tenth place in qualifying, Morbidelli finished the race in 12th position, which comes after a no score in the opening round. 

When summing up his time in Qatar, Morbidelli said: "A difficult 10 days here in Doha. We struggled to understand well how the package was working. 

"This morning we did a big modification. We went back to a configuration similar to 2020 at the beginning for the year. In the race it was better than the last one for sure. I was engaged and able to fight. 

"Starting from 10th position and not having the fastest bike on the pack was really tough to fight. At least I had the chance to do it. 

"Then the problems, similar problems to the beginning of 2020 came. I finished the tyre too soon and I wasn’t able to be consistent and fast all race."

In the risk that tyre chat starts to dominate the topic of discussion, let’s remember that Qatar is a very tyre specific circuit, and as the riders head to Europe this should become slightly less relevant at certain circuits. 

A positive however for Morbidelli, was the fact this was an improved area from race one to race two. 

Morbidelli said: "We improved this compared to the last race. I improved the feeling compared to the previous 9 days. That’s a good thing. 

"Of course it’s not what we want but it’s a good thing. Have to be positive and that is why we were able to improve the feeling. 

"A bit worrying but that’s what helped us today and what was useful today. We made the right choices, I would say."