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After winning the 2017 Moto2™ World Championship, Italian star Franco Morbidelli is the first graduate of Valentino Rossi’s VR46 riding academy to be promoted into the MotoGP™ ranks.
Boasting a surprisingly level head for a racer so young, the 2006 Superstock 600 champ proved his mettle in the intermediate category with three wildcard rides the same year before making the switch to Moto2™ the following year. After a year adapting to a prototype chassis and tyres where he made clear and steady progress, his first podium came in his second year at the Indianapolis Grand Prix and he was snapped up by the competitive Estrella Galicia Marc VDS squad for the 2016 season.
A string of top-10 finishes soon converted into a string of podium places and his first grand prix win came the following year at the Qatar Grand Prix which marked the start of the 2017 season. His race-winning form continued, and after 11 podiums and seven more wins, he was crowned the 2017 Moto2™ World Champion.
Fresh from his impressive title winning performance, the laid-back Italian made the leap to MotoGP™ in 2018 and adapted quickly, recording a bunch of point scoring finishes and finishing the season as Rookie of the Year.
The Italian's highest placed finish in Australia was second in the Moto2™ class in 2016. Joining newly formed team Petronas Yamaha SRT in 2019 he'll be excited to make a mark and continue his climb towards the top of the MotoGP™ champioship ladder, expect a stronger result at the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix 2019.