Ahead of three days on board his Petronas Yamaha SRT machine at the Motul TT Assen, Franco Morbidelli began his weekend by getting the behind the wheel of Bruno Spengler’s BMW Motorsport DTM car.
Before getting to drive the car himself, the Italian hopped into the passenger seat to experience the true potential of a DTM race car around the icon TT Assen Circuit and thanks to Canadian driver Spengler, Morbidelli was able to pick up a few tips before spinning a couple of laps himself. Morbidelli follows in the footsteps of compatriot Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) after the latter competed in a one-off DTM appearance at Misano before the Catalan GP. And it’s an experience that Morbidelli thoroughly enjoyed.
Morbidelli takes on a four-wheel challenge with BMW
“I have to say that was impressive. These cars are unbelievable,” reflected Morbidelli. “I always watched them on TV and never in my life thought I’d get to drive one and actually, it was a great experience. Being in the passenger seat is even scarier, it was a scary situation for me, but then when I swapped to the driver’s side it was great. The downforce, all the details and level you can express is amazing. Thank you Dorna and MotoGP.
“Definitely, yes,” continued Morbidelli when asked if he would like to experience driving a DTM car again. “I’ve always been doing four-wheel stuff, whether it’s karting or drifting, not a real racing car and this is a real racing car, but the experience was positive. I liked it a lot so maybe, who knows, when I’m home I will search for something.
“The thing about this car compared to MotoGP is the downforce so the faster you go, the more attached to the ground you are and the faster you go so it’s a circle. I wasn’t used to that, but I saw Bruno was so he used the downforce much better, of course. The thing that impressed me most was the downforce...I loved the way he approached Turn 6, in a car it’s another world. You go in so much quicker than on a MotoGP bike. I bet he still had some margin too, the second lap of his life here and it was already impressing me. It was the scariest part of the track.”
When @MotoGP meets @DTM ???????? @FrankyMorbido12 is about to experience riding at Assen alongside DTM driver @BrunoSpengler!#PETRONASYamahaSRT @MotoGP #SepangRacingTeam #PETRONASMOTORSPORTS #Yamaha #DTM pic.twitter.com/PlwslmqRJb— PETRONAS SRT (@sepangracing) June 27, 2019
Bruno Spengler: “As a passenger he was amazing because he only asked me what gear I was in and that’s all. He was very focused trying to analyse everything and I know passenger seat is difficult because you can’t see in a DTM car. When we switched, I was very scared, it’s a lot more impressive in the passenger seat than when you drive.
“He was a great learner, he only had two and a half laps but in these two laps he was improving corner by corner. I told him a few tips and he was immediately able to adapt, and he learned so fast. He was so focused and not just trying as much as he could. He was feeling the car, improving and it was cool to sit next to him so anytime again, man!”
Click the button below to view a gallery of Morbidelli and Spengler on track in Assen!
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