franco morbidelli yamaha facto

Morbidelli was involved in a last-lap clash with Aprilia’s Espargaro at the penultimate corner of last Sunday’s race at Sepang.

The Yamaha rider finished 10th but was handed a three-second time penalty, which dropped him back behind Espargaro to 11th.

This was the second penalty Morbidelli received at Sepang, having been hit with a three-place grid drop for impeding Francesco Bagnaia and Marc Marquez in FP3 on Saturday.

Morbidelli feels stewards were wrong to give him a penalty for his Espargaro clash and hopes it leads to much clearer dialogue between riders and race direction going forward.

“I hope this overtake will be shown a lot on social media and on television, to show that the race directors made a mistake with that decision,” he said.

“They are human beings, they can make mistakes. But it will be important to discuss how people decide on things like this.

“We need to sit together and discuss how we are judged in the future. There is something that doesn’t really work.

“I think it’s time to have a conversation about it and have an open conversation about it.

“Every time they make a decision, like yesterday, then there is no real conversation possible with the protagonists of the incident.

“There is no conversation between the media and the stewards. I believe these people are under enormous pressure, they are overwhelmed by this pressure, reactions on social media and on television.

Franco Morbidelli, Yamaha Factory Racing

Franco Morbidelli, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“That’s how the world works at the moment, but I feel that the people who are supposed to judge us, protect us and protect the public with keeping the show alive, I don’t think the balance is right.

“It needs to be talked about, it needs to be talked about to correct these kinds of issues.

“There should be a mechanism where the balance is ensured between show and safety.

“If I cannot overtake in the penultimate corner where there is so much space, and have a bike I cannot overtake with on straights, what should I do? Keep riding behind? I think we have to look at the current way of working.”

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Aleix Espargaro was extremely critical of Morbidelli, claiming race direction must be harsher on him as “he doesn’t improve” with each penalty awarded.

“I don’t know what this guy is doing this year, I don’t understand,” Espargaro said of the clash with Morbidelli.

“He’s here or his head is on another planet. They give him almost every GP some sanctions, but he keeps doing stupid things.

“He hit me two times in Thailand, we were in 11th and I didn’t understand.

“Today he hit me super hard, I don’t why I didn’t crash – for 10th place. They give them three seconds, which I think is good because they gave me back one important point.

“But I think they need to start him last or from the pitlane, they keep giving him some sanctions but he doesn’t improve. It’s crazy.”

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