Ramon Forcada, Franco Morbidelli’s (Petronas Yamaha SRT) crew chief, recently joined Ernest Riveras and Izaskun Ruiz on the Spanish edition of the official MotoGP™ Podcast, Cambia el Mapa, to talk about the potential of the Italian-Brazilian rider and to reflect on the pressure he felt throughout 2019, especially after the impressive results achieved by teammate Fabio Quartararo.
Forcada, one of the most experienced men within the paddock having worked with World Champions like Jorge Lorenzo, admitted that Morbidelli’s results last season "weren’t bad" but "not the best he can do". He went on to explain that the former Moto2™ World Champion is "a faster ride than the results show", also admitting that he was "a bit overshadowed by what Fabio [Quartararo] achieved".
Regarding the pressure that his rider faced during the 2019 season, dealing with the raw pace of rookie Quartararo, Forcada explained that, although he didn't openly admit it, the 25-year-old, without doubt, struggled: "Franco didn't show the pressure on the outside, but surely he felt it. It’s that it was so unexpected because if you go to a team and you know the guy on the other side of the box is a World Champion, you know what to expect. But when this happens and there’s no warning, obviously it’s a bigger shock."
Evaluating how the 2019 results could affect Morbidelli’s performance and confidence for 2020, Forcada insisted that the Italian's work ethic remains as strong as ever: "He’s a guy who works so much. What he needs to do is believe in himself that he’s much faster, believe in himself that he can achieve the results and that he deserves them."
Forcada spoke with the official Spanish MotoGP Podcast, but this week on the English MotoGP™ Podcast, Last On The Brakes, you can hear Danilo Petrucci open up about pressure, dissatisfaction with his 2019 results, elation in Mugello and much more, as Fran Wyld and Matt Dunn have a deep dive chat with one of the paddock's most popular Italians. Find it on your favourite podcast platform, or watch the whole interview on YouTube below.