Petronas Yamaha rider Franco Morbidelli heads into round four of the 2021 MotoGP campaign in the type of form we’ve come to expect, after securing his first top five finish of the year. 

Morbidelli finished fourth at Portimao narrowly missing out on a first podium of the season, following an intense final few laps with Francesco Bagnaia and Joan Mir who finished second and third respectively. 

The top five result elevates Morbidelli into 11th place in the championship standings with Jerez up next.

While the Italian was in contention for a rostrum during both Jerez events last year, the Spanish circuit has not been kind to Morbidelli, as he’s yet to claim a podium there in either MotoGP or Moto2.

That would have most likely changed during the Andalucian race however, as the 26 year-old was running in a comfortable second before Yamaha’s well documented 2020 engine problems caused a DNF for the 2017 Moto2 champion.

Speaking ahead of this weekend, Morbidelli said: "The track at Jerez is really nice and I have been fast there. 

"Last year I was very close to finishing on the podium in both races we had at Jerez, so I hope we can actually make it a podium this time. 

"This year the competition is tougher and the level is higher, but I will be trying my hardest to stay as close as possible to the top-three and we’ll just have to wait and see if I can manage it. 

"We need to be ready to react to the circuit and the other riders, but we are ready to give our maximum and to be the best that we can."