MotoGP’s newest race winner Franco Morbidelli says he was “speechless” after securing a dominant victory in the San Marino Grand Prix at Misano.
Morbidelli streaked away from his second-place grid start to vault pole-man Maverick Vinales to snatch the lead into Turn 1, the Italian never headed from that point on after holding off Valentino Rossi early on.
His lead stood at over three seconds at its peak, before the 2017 Moto2 champion backed off in the closing laps to head Francesco Bagnaia by 2.2 seconds as he took the chequered flag.
Morbidelli says it “feels great” to secure his debut win early on in his third premier class campaign, pointing out that only seven years ago he was competing in the local Italian Superstock series before starting his GP racing journey.
“It feels great,” said Morbidelli.
“I’m speechless, it was a perfect weekend for me and I’m very happy, I want to thank all the people that have worked with me and believed in me throughout my career which has been short and steep because just seven years ago I was here racing in the Italian (Superstock) championship and now I’m winning a MotoGP race.
“This has happened because I’ve had people around me who have done a great job.”
Morbidelli’s success lifted him from 11th to seventh in the overall riders standings, just 19 points back from leader Andrea Dovizioso-but he was coy on any possible title challenge, describing himself as “just a satellite rider on a satellite bike.”
“I don’t know, after all I’m just a satellite rider that rides a satellite bike, so I don’t have to think too much about the championship because of many reasons, I will just try to have fun and take it race by race,” explained Morbidelli.
“As we’ve seen you can be on the podium one week and be on the ground full of pain and hoping that you didn’t destroy your body so to keep focussed and keep working like this is important, but also not stressing too much.”