Grand prix

Misano MotoGP: ‘I’ll try to be smart about it’ – title thoughts for Quartararo | MotoGP

This Sunday at Misano will see Fabio Quartararo have his first chance to wrap-up the MotoGP title and become Yamaha’s first world champion since Jorge Lorenzo in 2015.

To do so, he will need to keep his current 52-point title lead over Francesco Bagnaia to at least 50 points, which basically means beating the Italian.

With the Ducati rider triumphing in last month’s opening Misano round by just 0.364s over Quartararo, it could be another close contest.

But while Quartararo put title thoughts to one side as he hunted down Bagnaia in September’s race, the Frenchman admits his ‘mindset has changed a little’.

“For this final part of the competition my mindset has changed a little,” he said. “The last time we were in Misano, I was racing for the win and not thinking about the championship at all.

“Of course I will still do my best as always to get the best result possible this weekend, because that’s what I enjoy most, but I will try to be smart about it.”

Team director Massimo Meregalli added: “This is a crucial point in the season, for Fabio as well as the team and Yamaha, but we will be treating it as a ’normal GP weekend‘.

“By this I mean: we’ll give it our all in every session and work together as a team. We completed the San Marino GP and the immediately following Misano Test with very positive results.

“We have used that data to prepare for this weekend, so we are expecting to be able to give another competitive performance.”

On the other side of the Monster Yamaha pits, new team-mate Franco Morbidelli will be aiming for his first factory team points as he continues to recover from knee surgery.

“The race in Austin was really tough, mostly because the circuit was very demanding on my injured knee,” Morbidelli said. “The two weeks of no racing allowed me to give the leg a bit of rest, so we now start the next Grand Prix in a better shape than we finished the previous one.

“We made some good progress during the Misano Test in September. We made a big step and improved my feeling with the bike considerably at this track, so I am looking forward to continue working in that direction this weekend.”

Quartararo has been the top Yamaha rider in the past eight races, since his penalty in Catalunya.

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