Morbidelli: ‘A-spec’ Yamaha not an advantage in 2021

Lewis Duncan
·2-min read

The Petronas SRT rider finished the 2020 season as top Yamaha rider in second in the standings with three wins, equal on victories with teammate Fabio Quartararo despite riding the older ‘A-spec’ M1 instead of the factory-spec 2020 bike.

Morbidelli was the most consistent Yamaha rider across the campaign, with the 2020 M1 riders only tallying up one further win courtesy of Maverick Vinales and three other podiums combined.

Despite this, Yamaha has once again elected against upgrading Morbidelli’s equipment having taken away the 2020 bike he was meant to ride this year before testing. 

All three 2020 M1 riders were very critical of the bike, with Quartararo admitting last month he’d like to see if he could race the 2019 bike – which is essentially what Morbidelli is riding – next year. 

Given the problems the factory riders have had this year, Morbidelli feels keeping his current package won’t offer him any greater benefit compared to his stablemates as it can’t be developed.

“No, because a new bike can develop,” he said when asked if keeping his ‘A-spec’ bike for 2021 would offer him better chances of top results compared to the current factory bike. 

“You can work on it, you can develop it, you can make modifications, the factory is working on a direction of developing.

“My bike is that one, it’s that. I need to take out the maximum from it, from that package.

“Of course, there are some items that I can pick up from the factory and try to adapt to my bike

“But I always say that the latest bike is the best one because of this reason because you can and all the energies of the factory are on that package, are on that thing in order to make it grow and develop it. 

“The newest and the latest bike is one with the most margin [to improve], my one is the one least margin.” 

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When asked if he was happy to remain on the ‘A-spec’ bike next year, he replied: “Yeah, I am.” 

Morbidelli will remain with SRT for at least the next two seasons, with mentor Valentino Rossi joining him as a factory-supported rider in 2021.