Moto2 championship leader Franco Morbidelli says that his ferocious last lap battle with fellow Italian Mattia Pasini in Sunday’s race at Motorland Aragon was nothing out of the ordinary for him despite putting it on the line to take the win instead of settling for a safe second place behind his countryman.
And, with his championship lead over Thomas Luthi, who finished fourth, now extended to 21 points, he said after the race that come the end of the season in four races’ time, it could well be five valuable points that he picked up on Sunday.
“Nothing changed with my approach today, I raced as I always do, giving the maximum and this is what came out. I tried to push at the beginning and open a gap but then Pasini was closing fast and I had a decision to make. Stay calm and ride for the championship or fight. I kept fighting and went for the win so this victory gives me a lot of satisfaction.”
However, one man who would have rather that Morbidelli had settled for the safer second place was team boss Michael Bartholemy, who admitted after the race that he had given his rider instructions on what to do in such a circumstance – orders that were promptly ignored!
“Before the race I spoke with Franco and said make a safe race and control Lüthi for the points in the championship. Of course he did the exact opposite! Afterwards when you have the win it is a really nice feeling but for many laps it was a very hard and tense fight against Pasini. If Franco had been conservative today you could not have blamed him, but he did a great job and made up for the zero points from Misano.”
It was a more disappointing day for teammate Alex Marquez, however, who looked set to convert his front row qualifying spot into a strong finish in front of his home crowd until the effects of a nasty crash last time out at Misano caught up with him.
“The pain was not the main problem it was that my leg was going to sleep because of the swelling in my hip and pressure on the sciatic nerve. Before the race I knew this could happen; I decided to try but it was not possible to finish the race in this condition. Now I need to recover and be ready for the next race in Japan.”