Franco Morbidelli finished fourth fastest overall for Petronas Yamaha during today’s MotoGP Free Practice in Jerez and looks like one of the pre race favorites following early race simulations. 

Yamaha have been one of the strongest teams in recent years at the Andalusian based circuit, which seems to be no different in 2021 with Morbidelli one of three M1 riders inside the top five. 

Morbidelli called it a ‘good’ first day, as times suggest the 2017 Moto2 champion, Aleix Espargaro and Fabio Quartararo potentially have the strongest pace. 

Morbidelli added: "Good first day here in Jerez. The bike is behaving well here. I was able to ride quite well today. 

"The pace with the M tyres is really good. I have a good feeling. We gotta work some more to increase this feeling. The starting point is already good. 

"Jerez is a bit of a different track. There are less straights here and that’s a great thing for us. Moreover, the layout suits very well the bike."  

So far long straights have not affected Yamaha as they took both victories in Qatar which has a kilometer long straight, however, Morbidelli was asked in his media debrief whether he needs to push more at circuits that do. 

"I try to go for it every time, even if I’m struggling. Being so fast doesn’t change my attitude towards the race. For sure it changes my mood but not my attitude toward the race, which is always the same," added Morbidelli 

Given the Italian’s return to form at the Algarve International Circuit, Morbidelli is keeping a similar setup to the one in Portugal, while not completely the same. 

The 26 year-old said: "So, the setting is a little bit more like Portimao. It’s not the same but it goes a bit toward Portimao than toward Jerez last year. 

"I saw Aleix [Espargaro] having a great pace. I saw I had good pace too. Maybe just a bit slower than Aleix. I saw that. It’s a great starting point but it’s only Friday so we need to wait."



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