Franco Morbidelli secured his first top five finish of 2021 at the MotoGP Grand Prix of Portugal yesterday with a fourth place finish. 

The 2020 title runner-up closed in on the battling Francesco Bagnaia and Joan Mir with a couple of laps remaining, but was unable to make an attack on the Suzuki rider. 

It’s no surprise that Morbidelli has been less than impressed with Yamaha so far this year, as he is on a two year-old bike, when he was their top rider last year. 

And with improvements coming from every team this season, and especially from the 2021 M1 package that all other Yamaha riders have except him, it’s led to a disappointing start to the season for the 2017 Moto2 world champion. 

However, yesterday was a much more positive outing for Morbidelli who improved one spot overall from his qualifying of fifth during the race. 

Speaking after the race, Morbidelli added: "I’m happy about today's performance. It was a great race and I had fun fighting at the beginning in the pack and then trying to give everything to reach 2nd position. 

"Unfortunately we didn’t manage it because our potential was a bit less than Pecco [Bagnaia and Mir, but anyway I’m really pleased and happy with the result."

The Italian rider was also asked about whether the improvements from Qatar came down to him or the bike, to which Morbidelli said: "Erm. It was a combination between me and the team. 

"Clearly in Qatar we didn’t manage to find the right setting while here we managed to get that setting to allow me to ride. 

"It was a combination and difficult to say which was more. It’s a success that belongs to me and the team. To us."

 

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