Motorcycling: Morbidelli and “Uncle Valentino”

The Italian-Brazilian owes a lot to Valentino Rossi: “If he had been with us on the podium, it was the perfect day!”

by
Jean-Claude Schertenleib

Franco Morbidelli ahead of Valentino Rossi during the San Marino GP on Sunday.

KEYSTONE

Franco Morbidelli’s story is astonishing. When he discovers the minibike, when a superior gift already appears, his dad understands that to get there, there is only one solution: to leave Rome and come to Tavullia, to convince Valentino Rossi to help Franco.

Dad gave all he could and seven years ago he is gone forever. At Tavullia’s ranch, “Frankie” is going to find an uncle: “Vale is a friend, but out of respect for him, for everything he has done, I call him my uncle. When I say thank you to those who made it possible for me to live that day, he is of course in first place. ”

During this first GP in Misano, Morbidelli had the best pace. But before giving himself a few seconds in advance, he had to fight. With “Uncle Valentino” in his wake: “Our duel was always correct, which allowed us to widen the gap a little with the others. But to be in the lead, in Misano, with all the VR46 flags waving because the boss is there, very close, it was amazing. I thought to myself, relax. I’m happy for Joan (Mir), but if Valentino could have been on the podium with us it was the perfect day. We are very close, but in the race, we are adversaries and as soon as I arrived in MotoGP, my goal was to beat him, to show him that he was right to trust me. Thank him? Sure, but that’s not enough for everything he’s done for me. “

VR46, the winning system

Before the MotoGP race, Luca Marini – Rossi’s half-brother – and Marco Bezzecchi had offered a first double at the VR46 academy. In the queen race, Morbidelli and Bagnaia, even under different colors, achieved the same feat: “The key to this current success, where almost all the leading Italian drivers have passed or are still at the academy, it is is because the greatest driver of all time has decided to invest in training, ”continues Morbidelli. “He provides us with his structure, his experience, it is a noble gesture on his part”, adds the winner of the day.

What to celebrate with dignity the multiple triumph? Brazilian genes – will Frankie’s mom born near Recife – come out tonight? “We have a day of testing ahead of us on Tuesday. I therefore believe that it will be wiser to remain Italian; even to become Japanese! During the last ten rounds, I treated myself to some kind of applied psychology session and thought about everything that has happened in the last seven years; Seven years ago, I was also on the top step of the podium here in Misano, it was in the Italian Superstock 600 Championship. “

When the third, Joan Mir, apologizes

“I’m really disappointed for Valentino, he deserved this podium. But I couldn’t refuse it on purpose ”: the Spaniard Joan Mir, on this day of firsts -“ Pecco ”Bagnaia, the second in the race, was also never mounted on the“ box ”. in the premier class – was the man of the second part of the race, with the Suzuki. And it was in the last lap that he found the opening in Rossi’s guard.

Lüthi strong, but not yet satisfied

In Moto2, Thomas Luthi finally finished 6th in the San Marino GP.  He started 10th on the grid.

In Moto2, Thomas Luthi finally finished 6th in the San Marino GP. He started 10th on the grid.

KEYSTONE

Thomas Lüthi remains a formidable fighter in the race. Twelfth time in testing – 10e on the grid, due to the penalty of Sam Lowes and the injury of Remy Gardner, who broke his hand and left foot during the warm-up – the Swiss got off to a good start, before fighting in the second group, fifth place in play (he finished sixth):

“A solid performance from the whole team, after a difficult weekend. The good start helped me, I made a small mistake by passing Marcel (Schrötter, his German teammate, who was going to fall a little further). Then there was the fight with Di Giannantonio and then I lost contact with Fernandez. I was able to come back, but I had an alert on the penultimate lap, when I lost the front. I was too close to the limit and I then realized that the half-second that I was missing, I would not win it in the final round. For us, it’s good to have a second race on this same circuit next weekend and the goal is of course to continue our progress. ”

No miracle for Jesko Raffin

“I had set myself two goals. The first, to stay in contact with the group as long as possible, then try to go to the end, but I did not reach either of the two. Over the turns, I understood that things were wrong. I had cramps all over my body, I was starting to have trouble concentrating and the situation got worse; I understood that it was only a matter of time before I made a serious mistake and I decided to return to my stand. In my entire career, I have never had to give up a race in such conditions ”.

Stricken two months ago by a complex virus, the Zurich resident Jesko Raffin decided to go home for a few days. It is not yet known whether he will return to Misano in the middle of the week, for the second scheduled race on the Italian circuit.

Aegerter: three (podiums) out of three!

Dominique Aegerter strengthened his lead in the FIM MotoE Cup by one point, finishing third in the Misano race, after a final lap where he was impressive, passing two opponents: “It was the first time that I was riding the MotoE on a different circuit than Jerez and the little crash on Friday cost us a little time to understand the bike. I had to adapt my driving to the circumstances and it was only today in the race that I understood what to do. A podium is always important and the fact that I left behind my two closest competitors in the championship, too. ”

Next weekend, two MotoE races are on the program of the GP of Emilia-Romagna; the first Saturday, the second Sunday.

Dominique Aegerter: “I had to adapt my driving to the circumstances and it was only today in the race that I understood what to do.”Twitter Aegerter

Jason Dupasquier has passed a milestone

Less than 12 seconds lost on the winner of the day, the Fribourgeois Jason Dupasquier had his best race since his arrival in GP: “We are not yet in the points, which is of course the goal, but we are getting closer every time. weekend a little more. I know I can do better, but I believe we can be satisfied with the job done this weekend, ”says Jason, 19e of this race.

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