Franco Morbidelli, the icon of VR46 Academy

Valentino Rossi paid tribute to one of the riders he trained in the Petronas Yamaha SRT Team, Franco Morbidelli, after he managed to get on the podium for the first time in the third series last weekend.

For information, Morbidelli is the first rider educated by the Valentino Rossi academy team or VR46 Academy.

His journey to reach the highest class was not easy. He first competed in the European Superstock 600, then moved to Moto2 in 2014. Three years later, or in 2017, Morbidelli won Moto2 and finally climbed to MotoGP.

With his success in becoming the champion in Moto2, Morbidelli became the first VR46 member to become world champion.

He had defended Honda, but unfortunately the mounts provided by the single wing manufacturer did not match his racing style. As a result, since 2019 yesterday, Morbidelli then joined the Yamaha Satellite Team, Petronas SRT.

However, Morbidelli won the first podium in the third series of the season at the Brno Circuit, Czech Republic last weekend. This achievement makes Rossi feel proud.

“Franco has had a good racing week. He deserves to be on the podium because he is very strong since the pre-season trials. He should have been a tip racer, but last year Fabio was very impressive and shocked him. For psychic Franco, this is not easy,”

“But in my opinion, Franco has great potential and I think he can compete for victory in MotoGP in the near future. He is really our leader, he got the first podium of the VR46 Academy in MotoGP, and we are very happy,” said Rossi via Corsedimoto.

There are also other riders who are starting to show their potential, such as the Pecco Bagnaia. Then there are Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi who are also consistently appearing at the top of Moto2.

The development of these Vr46 riders makes Rossi very proud, he is sure that in the future they will become serious challengers in the hunt for the world title.

“We are very proud of Franco and all the Academy riders. We are doing very well, helping them find a good team and bike. So, we don’t just manage to train them. I think they are very strong, and they can be a threat in the future, “concluded Rossi.

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