PETALING JAYA: Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team rider Franco Morbidelli’s next goal is to be the world champion.
The 25-year-old came close to achieving his dream title this year but had to settle for the runners-up spot in the MotoGP world championships after finishing third at the Portuguese Grand Prix on Sunday.
It was his fifth podium finish as the season came to an end at the Algarve International Circuit in Portimao on Sunday. His teammate Fabio Quartararo finished 14th in his 100th GP appearance.
Miguel Oliveira won the home GP while Italian Jack Miller came in second.
Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Joan Mir clinched the MotoGP title with 171 points despite retiring in the 15th lap.
“I’m happy that we finished the championship second, it is something great. Of course, my dream is something more than this, but I will remember the day forever, ” said Morbidelli, who collected 158 points.
“I want to say a huge thanks to my team for helping me achieve this. I will work now to improve myself and see what next season brings.”
With the strong performance of the two riders, Petronas won the Independent Team Rider title (non-factory team).
In the team’s championships, the Malaysian team came in second with 248 points as Team Suzuki Ecstar claimed the title with 310 points.
Meanwhile, an emotional Quartararo bid farewell to the team after ending the season eighth with 127 points.
“It’s been quite an emotional last race for the team and unfortunately, I couldn’t finish in the way that I wanted, ” said the dejected Frenchman, who was plagued by mechanical problems.
“I also suffered from an arm pump for half of the race, which is really strange because since an operation I’ve never had that problem.
“These two years that I have spent with the team will always be in my heart. I will visit them every time I can, ” added Quartararo, who will ride for Monster Energy Yamaha next season.