Triple MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo believes Yamaha is not treating Petronas SRT’s Franco Morbidelli “in the best way” by not giving him machine parity with its factory riders.
Morbidelli remains on the ‘A-spec’ M1 for the 2021 season, which is effectively a slightly upgraded 2019 Yamaha, on which he rode to second in the championship last season and scored three of the Japanese marque’s seven victories.
Yamaha has won all three races in 2021 so far courtesy of its factory duo Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo on the improved factory M1, with the latter leading the standings by 15 points.
Morbidelli struggled to 18th with a technical issue in the Qatar Grand Prix, and is currently 11th in the riders’ standings after 12th and fourth-place finishes in the Doha and Portuguese rounds.
The Italian expressed frustration at his situation within Yamaha after his Qatar GP problems, though later backtracked on these.
But former factory Yamaha rider Lorenzo feels Morbidelli isn’t being treated as he should, but must concentrate on “showing Yamaha that it is wrong”.
“Well, my opinion is perhaps quite strong but I think that Yamaha in this case is not treating Franco in the best way because [he] was second overall last year,” Lorenzo said on his 99 Seconds YouTube show.
“Ducati gives the four riders [at its factory squad and Pramac] practically the same bike and Yamaha is not doing it, precisely with Franco.
“Now, I believe that Franco should demand the same treatment from Yamaha and he does well by threatening in quotes, starting to talk to other factories or those other factories that want him.
“But once he puts on his helmet and gets on the bike, he has to concentrate on getting the most out of him and showing Yamaha that he is wrong by not giving him the same treatment.”
Lorenzo also commented on Vinales’ main weaknesses as a rider currently, following his tough run to 11th place at Portimao and his downbeat comments afterwards.
“He is young and he will come out of this and win races again,” Lorenzo said.
“What is clear is that he has two handicaps that are limiting him a lot.
“The first is the starts; he has to improve on that, he has to get very serious about trying to improve them because they are limiting him in a great way.
“And then those emotional ups and downs that I think he has, I think he needs to be much more consistent because in the end there are always going to be problems.
“The Yamaha in some circuits is not going to go well, in others it will be you who does not find yourself fast in the circuit or with the motorcycle and you cannot go fast.
“You will have crashes, injuries, moments where you will be physically worse or emotionally and there you have to be consistent, always think positive, try to get the maximum possible points without excuses and saying that everything is a disaster.”