Franco Morbidelli Joins Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP at 2021 San Marino GP
It’s an exciting time for the ENEOS-sponsored Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team as Franco Morbidelli has signed on for the remainder of 2021 in addition to the previously announced 2022/23 seasons.
The Italian is excited to return from injury this weekend at the Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, where he joins former Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing teammate Fabio Quartararo. At the first race, Morbidelli will focus on adapting to his new team, the works YZR-M1, and improving his physical shape.
San Marino events are special to Morbidelli since he entered his very first Grand Prix at Misano in the Moto2 class in 2013. Now, it’ll be even more special as he makes his Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP debut. Although he’s missed five important races, he ranks 17th in the championship with 40 points.
“I’m very pleased to return to competition this weekend and begin a new chapter of my life with the Factory Yamaha team,” said Morbidelli. “I’ve worked hard to recover for the final stage of this championship, and wanted to make my comeback at Misano, a track I know well and have fond memories of! I’ve been away too long, so I’m looking forward to riding again.”
With Morbidelli’s departure from Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing, Yamaha announced Andrea Dovizioso will join the team for the remainder of 2021, as well as the entire 2022 MotoGP season. The three-time MotoGP runner-up has multiple premier- and lower-class achievements/victories, and is no stranger to the YZR-M1, making him a perfect addition to the Yamaha roster. He begins the second leg of his career on Morbidelli’s former bike.
“Racing with Yamaha has always been my dream,” Dovizioso said. “When the opportunity presented itself, I didn’t hesitate. It will be a good challenge: new bike, team and crew, one that starts at my home GP, which makes it even more exciting!”