Morbidelli was forced to miss the entirety of pre-season testing in February after a serious crash while training on a production bike at the Algarve track left him with a concussion.

On Friday at the Portuguese GP, Morbidelli crashed going into Turn 8 when he braked on the white line, but walked away unscathed from the incident.

Speaking to the media afterwards, he says it was “good” to have a typical MotoGP crash and come away unharmed after what happened in the winter as “crashing is part of our job”.

“I went a bit wide into Turn 7 and I went to brake on the white line into Turn 8, and the white line was a bit dirty and usually it’s not the place to brake there,” he said.

“I lost the front and that was a mistake on my part. It was good to have a normal crash and see that everything is ok. Crashing is part of our job.”

Franco Morbidelli, Pramac Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Morbidelli’s crash left him in 15th and facing Q1 in qualifying on Saturday, but he was just over three tenths away from getting into the top 10.

The Italian felt getting into Q2 was achievable, but this was “surprising” given how far off he was in Qatar two weeks ago.

“Happy to see the level that I had today with race tires and race mode,” he added.

“Unfortunately, I made a mistake in my second time attack, but also that is a lack of experience.

“It was basically my first real time attack of the year with this bike, because in Qatar it was just putting soft tires on, just going on track with new tires.

“Today I was trying to get into Q2 because I felt it was possible and I was up there all day.

“So, an encouraging day and surprising day. I was expecting to be better than in Qatar, but so much was surprising and encouraging.

“We have to keep going and try to improve the time attack.”

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