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SPORTS

Rossi, Morbidelli hope to reverse fortunes at Doha GP

30/03/2021 08:15 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 -- Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team’s Italian riders, Valentino Rossi and Franco Morbidelli, intend to set the record straight at this weekend’s Doha Grand Prix after a dismal outing in the 2021 season-opening MotoGP race in Qatar last weekend.

In the second round, which will be held at the same Losail International Circuit, nine-time world champion Rossi is eyeing his ninth podium at the track after a two-year absence since finishing third in 2018.

The 42-year-old, who positioned himself in the fourth grid with his fastest-ever lap at the circuit during qualifying, could only end the race in 12th place.

“We did expect more from the Qatar GP but I struggled in the race and we suffered with the rear tyre. We still have positives to take with us to the next round because fourth place in qualifying was a great result.

“Now, we will comprehensively analyse the data during these days before Free Practice (on Friday) and try to fix the problems that we had, try to improve the feeling and, hopefully, this weekend we will have a better result,” he said in a team statement.

Meanwhile, Morbidelli, who finished 18th in the Qatar GP due to mechanical issues, is itching to get back into the championship fight after finishing second overall last season.

“It’s going to be a tricky weekend. We saw after the pre-season test and after the race that something is not right with our package. There were moments that it worked well; we had good speed in the afternoon before it got dark.

“We need to analyse the data from over the weekend to try to understand why. I hope we can solve the problem for this weekend, we will see what happens. If not, it is going to be a weekend of damage limitation, where we try to defend as much as possible and take whatever points we can,” he said.

-- BERNAMA



 

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