PETALING JAYA: It will be an all-out attack from Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team riders when the MotoGP world championship battle enters the last three races starting with Valencia this weekend.
The characteristics of the Ricardo Tormo track, which is hosting the next two rounds, favour the Yamaha machines and hopes are high Franco Morbidelli (pic) and Fabio Quartararo will bring cheers to the Malaysian team.
Morbidelli stepped up to win the Aragon Grand Prix two weeks ago as title contender Quartararo’s challenge faded due to a sudden loss of tyre pressure.
Morbidelli’s second win this season catapulted the Italian to fourth in the championship standings and within 25 points of leader and Suzuki rider Joan Mir of Spain.
Morbidelli also joins his French teammate as the only two riders to win more than once this season.
Quartararo claimed the first two in Jerez in July and added another in Misano in September.
Mir has yet to win but has produced consistent podium finishes to lead with 137 points. Second placed Quartararo is 14 points behind whi-le factory Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales is third with 118 points.
Fourth-placed Morbidelli is not discounting his chances of snatching the crown if things go his way.
“We are surely back in the (title) game. I’m 25 points from the top. With three races left, Quartararo and I will go on full attack mode. However, we will not throw caution to the wind and must try to work very hard, very well and see where we are at the end, ” said Morbidelli, who admitted that to be among the title contenders was something he never thought of after just three years in the premier class.
“To be fourth in the championship so late in the season is a great thing in itself.
“This is MotoGP. This is what I dreamt about when I was a little kid. So it’s a great situation for me.
“But you know when you are in the game, you always want more, so I will always push for more, ” added Morbidelli.
Portimao in Portugal will host the season finale from Nov 20-22.