No hard feelings between Viñales, Morbidelli after crash

Yamaha duo went down together at Turn 7 on the final lap in Termas – but both riders leave Argentina in positive spirits

It wasn’t the end of the race that both Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) and Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) would have been looking for at the Gran Premio Motul de la República Argentina, as both riders crashed out of contention at Turn 7 on the final lap.

Morbidelli made contact with Viñales rear tyre while the pair battled hard with Mission Winnow Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci for sixth place. Thankfully, both riders emerged unscathed and the duo were in good spirits upon reflection.

“Yes, I’m good. It was a good race for us,” said Morbidelli, who was in the podium hunt throughout in Argentina as he continues to make strides with the YZR-M1. “We were fighting on top and that’s exactly what we wanted to do. I felt strong in some areas of the track and I managed to do a good race until the last lap and then unfortunately I was fighting for sixth position and yeah, I just ran over into Maverick.

“I didn’t want to do any overtake but with the double slipstream I couldn’t stop properly, and maybe he wanted to cut the line to overtake Petrucci again so me arriving a bit too fast and him stopping a bit more to cut the line…and we both ended up on the ground. It’s a big shame, a bit pity for both of us but luckily we’re both fine, so this is good. It’s important to go to the next race to keep the level and keep improving.”

There was no hard feelings towards Morbidelli from Viñales’ point of view, who was more than understanding of the incident after the race.

“I saw the replay and finally it was nothing you know. Franco, it’s the last lap, we all try to be at our best. One mistake, it is how it is. Maybe next race I do the same, it’s something you can’t explain. So nothing, no problems.”

It was a disappointing end to the race but Viñales proved that in qualifying at least, he and the Yamaha are on song. A pole in Qatar and a P2 grid slot in Argentina pay homage to that. But despite encountering “something strange” during the race, the Spaniard is confident that when he and Yamaha can get the race package on song, he’ll be a race winning contender for sure.

“Honestly I feel good in every track, we show good potential but it’s always in the race. This race we found something strange on the bike so we need to keep working and analysing. I just have to say when the bike is there I’m always in the top two or three. Yamaha needs to provide me a bike to race and that’s it.”

Both Morbidelli – who won the Moto2™ race in America in 2017 - and Viñales – who claimed P2 in Austin last season - will be aiming to bounce back at the Americas GP, which gets underway in less than two weeks’ time. 

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