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MotoGP Misano: ‘It’s great to be back’ - Morbidelli

New Yamaha MotoGP signing Franky Morbidelli returns to action at Misano this weekend after a two month battle to recover from knee surgery.

Switching to Monster Energy colours from the Petronas team he has felt at home in for the past two and a half years, the Italian is pleased to be returning at a track he loves so much, in from of his home fans and at one he shone so brightly last year.

“It’s great to be back,” Morbidelli said from the Misano paddock on Thursday afternoon. “I’ve been missing quite a lot, the sport, the people and the paddock. It’s felt like a long time. I’ve been trying to work at my best to recover, to heal as fast as possible to be here in Misano, which is a track that I really like and it’s a track that I have great memories on, of course.


“It’s just great to be back. I feel quite okay right now with the knee, it’s not that bad, but I will have to see what happens tomorrow on track.

“First of all I’ve got to thank my previous team, my former team,” he said on his announcement as a factory rider fo the next two years. “We did a wonderful job together. I had two wonderful years with them. Two and a half. We did great things, great things together, and I had the chance to show and to put on track my potential fully with them, so I need to thank them a lot.

“Now a new chapter starts with this team, to the factory Yamaha team. It feels great. Many, many people that I know already. Many people inside the pit box and outside the pit box working for you. Rejoining Fabio, that’s a good thing as well. I’m happy, I’m just happy that I’m here and I can start again, doing what I can do, and moreover with these colours, it feels even better.

“This weekend, and until the end of the season I will work with Silvano [Galbusera],” he continued on his new working relationship. “I enjoyed a lot the time that I’ve been working with Ramon. I learned a lot from him but we decided to don’t move too many things because there have been already many changes and many movements inside the team and inside the other team. So we all agreed on keeping everything as still as possible and then for the future we will see.”

Having undergone surgery on his left knee in late June, the Roman has spent the summer working on his fitness and mobility in a bid to return to the race track.

“We’ve been focusing quite a lot on the recovery,” he explained. “The injury is not that big a deal. It’s quite a usual injury, but it takes a long time to recover so we tried, we focused on forcing that recovery time. For sure, the main thing is the knee bending. It’s difficult to bend the knee but we’ve been forcing and we’ve been focusing quite a lot on that, and also keeping an eye on the overall physical shape. We will see this weekend, what job we have done, what kind of job we have done.

“We were a bit optimistic. I was a bit optimistic,” he admitted when discussing the original three-race prediction for his absence. “Then going ahead with the time I saw that maybe take a little bit more time than what I thought. So, yeah, it was my fault, I was a bit too optimistic, and we will have to see tomorrow. Tomorrow morning I start without painkillers, and then we will see what I need, how much I need, if I need something.

“This year I’m outside from the battle of the championship. I’m just returning to the championship and rejoining it with the factory bike. Maybe next year [there will be pressure]. The aim for sure is to beat everybody, is to be on top. So, not just Fabio [Quartararo, who he rejoins as teammate].

“It’s true that Fabio, has shown great, great potential and has shown great, great speed so he looks like the men to beat but next year is going to be next year. This year, the only pressure is to try to do the best job that I can, try to recover the speed, try to recover the shape and perform well. Next year maybe I will have some more pressure, hopefully, about trying to do some good stuff in the championship.”

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