Author: Ernest C.

The Cathedral awaits MotoGP riders

After the Catalan race, the MotoGP circus is ready to face Assen TT; the only round featuring just MotoGP class. The fast and flowing nature of the 4.5km long circuit has traditionally produced some of the most exciting races of the year.

In the current championship scenario after 7 rounds, Reigning Champion Marc Marquez and Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso battle for the honors in the riders’ standings. Marquez leads Doviioso by 37 points.

Marquez knows he can’t relent for a second at Assen TT, so you bet he’ll give it all at one of his happy hunting grounds.  Marquez has an impeccable record in Assen having finished on the podium in each of his six premier class starts.

Team mate Jorge Lorenzo has improved over the 7 races and is looking to inch closer and closer to the front. He has recovered from the crash at previous test and looks to up his game at Assen.  

The race marks Honda’s 60th anniversary in the business. To mark the occasion, a number of legendary bikes and riders will be on display and in attendance over the weekend.

The Catalan GP saw Danilo Petrucci capture a third place, while Dovizioso was involved in a crash that forced him to retire. Dovizioso needs to recover precious points to get close to Marquez in the standings. Both Petrucci and Dovizioso have second place each in 2014 and 2017 at this Dutch circuit.

Petrucci is  keen to make the most of the technical upgrades tested after the race at Catalunya to score as many points as possible and cut the gap in the rankings. Ducati is second among Manufacturers with 131 points, while the Ducati leads the Team standings with 201 points. 

Yamaha riders have drifted further and further away from the championship standings. Rossi crashed out at Catalunya and went pointless, however Assen presents a good hunting ground for the 9-time champion. The Italian holds a very impressive record at what is often referred to as “The Cathedral” of motorcycling. He claimed eight wins there in the premier class (in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2013, 2015, and 2017), as well as one second place (2001) and one third place (2003). He also scored well in the lower classes, collecting victories in the 250cc (1998) and 125cc class (1997), and a 250cc second place (1999). He’s chasing Petrucci in the standings, from fifth.

For Vinales, his mission is to keep the positive vibes going, take the podium he was gunning for at the previous round, and improve his current 11th place ranking. The number-12 rider has enjoyed strong results at the TT circuit in his past eight years of Grand Prix racing. He has won twice at this circuit and enjoyed a four-podium streak on Dutch soil, securing a 125cc win in 2011, a Moto3 win and second place in 2012 and 2013, and a Moto2 second place in 2014. His best score in the MotoGP class was the third place he secured in last year’s close battle.

As always, the action starts with the practice sessions then qualifiers on Saturday and the race on Sunday.

Goodyear returns to International Motorsports scene

After years of being out of the motorsports scene, Goodyear has announced its intentions to partake as sponsors for European and International sportscar racing series, namely the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and Le Mans 24-hour. Goodyear will supply racing tyres for the WEC and Le Mans’ teams in the 2019/20 season. In domestic motorsports, Goodyear Malaysia was the pioneer in grassroots motorsports and the Formula Drift Championship during its golden age 2009 – 2012.

Goodyear is no stranger in the world of motosports, they’re active in F1 with 368 GP wins and as many as 14 wins in Le Mans. To this day, Goodyear’s record of 368 GP wins still stand. Goodyear was also active in the American IMSA series.

To keep its motorsports legacy intact, Goodyear has picked the WEC to return to motorports as it provides a strong platform for demonstrating tyre technologies on a wide range of different prototype and GT cars.

Goodyear’s Motorsport Director Ben Crawley commented, “The nature of the races (varying from 4 hours to 24 hours) mean tyre choice and strategy are critical and it provides a motivating challenge for our technology team in our European innovation centres ahead of exploring other racing opportunities for the brand. It is an ideal platform for us to engage with consumers around the heritage, passion, innovation and technology that make up Goodyear’s story in racing. We will focus on sportscar racing at first, before applying learnings to other categories of racing, which could be within the endurance arena or in other racing series.”

Goodyear has been developing a new range of tyres for Le Mans Prototypes for over a year at their innovation centres in Hanau (Germany) and Colmar-Berg (Luxembourg). The tyres will be developed and manufactured alongside Goodyear’s latest range of Eagle F1 SuperSport tyres for performance and track-day cars, ensuring that the technology and knowledge transfer between the road and race ranges is optimized to benefit the performance of both. The tyres will debut at the start of the 2019/2020 WEC season at Silverstone in August.

This comeback marks the return of Goodyear to global sportscar racing at one of racing’s most iconic venues. With over 250,000 attendees, Le Mans is one of the largest single attendance sporting events in the world.

WEC has been around for 7 seasons and features long-distance races on four continents with the Le Mans season finale, a race which Goodyear-equipped cars have won on 14 occasions.

Toyota Racing captures 2nd straight win at 2019 Le Mans

The 87th Le Mans 24-Hour was an unforgettable experience for Toyota Racing with a second Le Mans title in consecutive years, a repeat from last season. Not only did Toyota win the 2019 Le Mans, but they got a one-two finish after Sunday’s endurance race around the clock at the Circuit de la Sarthe. With the Le Mans win, Toyota won the WEC (World Endurance Championship) 2018-19 overall title as well..

Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Fernando Alonso in the no.8 TS050 Hybrid defended their Le Mans crown and secured the drivers’ title. They inherited the win which could have gone team mates’ (Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López) way in sister car no.7. The TS050 Hybrid no.7 was on the verge of victory, but a tyre puncture prompted a last minute swap and virtually handed victory to car no.8.

On the 367th lap, with a lead of over two minutes, data on no.7 car indicated a puncture and Lopez had to pit to replace the tyre. A sensor issue resulted in the wrong tyre being identified, meaning Lopez left the pits still with a deflating tyre. That necessitated a slow lap back to the pits when four tyres were changed, handing an unassailable lead to Nakajima in car no.8.

Car no.7 drivers had controlled much of the contest, having set the fastest-ever Le Mans race lap of 3:17.297. Other motorsport records were rewritten too; Nakajima became the first circuit-racing champion from Japan and Alonso is the second driver to win four-wheel world titles in two different disciplines (F1 and Le Mans).

2019 Le Mans 24-Hour: Unlucky end for TS050 car no.7

Car no.7 had started the race from pole following Kobayashi’s fastest qualifying lap, with car no.8 starting just behind. That set the scene for an exciting and close battle for overall victory between the two 1,000PS TS050 Hybrids, with momentum swinging one way and then the other. Without the likes of Porsche and Audi, there weren’t any real challenges for the factory Toyota squad. After 12 hours the two Toyotas were separated by only 8.6secs. In the night, car no.7 seized a decisive advantage as the sister car faced an aerodynamic imbalance. That was caused by bodywork damage due to the rigours of a tough, flat-out contest although the cars were always on the same lap.

As the final hours approached, the gap remained relatively stable around two minutes and the focus switched to bringing the cars home safely. All appeared to be going to plan until car no.7 experienced its dramas and Nakajima took the lead with less than an hour to go. From there, it was smooth sail for the Japanese and more importantly a 1-2 finish. The closest challenger was six laps behind the two Toyotas.

2019 Le Mans 24-hour LMP1 results

1st    #8 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing                                385 laps
2th    #7 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing                               +16.972secs

3rd    #11 SMP (Petrov/Aleshin/Vandoorne)                 +6 laps
4th    #1 Rebellion (Jani/Lotterer/Senna)                     +9 laps
5th    #3 Rebellion (Laurent/Berthon/Menezes)            +15 laps

Marquez proves he’s the GOAT at Catalunya GP

Reigning Champion took a dominant win at the Catalunya Grand Prix, ahead of Fabio Quartararo and Danilo Petrucci. The win was his fourth of the season and his 48th career win. He now leads the Riders standings with a 15-point advantage from Andrea Dovizioso.

At the start, Marquez, Dovizioso and Quartararo were right there in the lead group. Valentino Rossi and Danilo Petrucci played catch up with the led group. Dovizioso would jump into the lead in the first lap. Meantime, the second Repsol Honda pf Jorge Lorenzo was in the mix as well. Lorenzo made a leap from 10th to 4th in a matter of two corners. By lap two, the Spaniard would retire from the race following a collision with Dovizioso in the second lap. The collision took out four riders in total.

With his championship rival out, Marquez would soon lead the Catalan GP with a comfortable margin in the early stint. He consistently lapped  in the mid to low 1’40s during the early stages of the race. Petrucci inherited second spot and engaged in a close battle with Alex Rins and Quartararo for a podium spot. Quartararo had been a Satellite rider to watch this weekend as he gained second place from the middle part of the race.  

In the closing laps, the top three were settled with Marquez, Quartararo and Petrucci locking the podium.  Rins was fourth for Suzuki, ahead Jack Miller’s Pramac. Fifth through tenth were Joan Mir, Pol Espargaro, Takaaki Naragami, Tito Rabat and Johann Zarco.

Yamaha riders drops further back in the rankings as both Rossi and Maverick Viñales retired from potential top five finishes.

The Teams now prepare for a day of testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The following round is scheduled for Assen, 28 – 30 June in a few weeks time.

2019 MotoGP Catalunya results

1     MARQUEZ Marc  Repsol Honda    40’31.175

2     QUARTARARO Fabio Yamaha SRT       +2.660

3     PETRUCCI Danilo      Ducati       4.537

4     RINS Alex     Suzuki    6.602

5     MILLER Jack Pramac Racing       6.870

6     MIR Joan      Suzuki    7.040

7     ESPARGARO Pol       KTM 16.144

8     NAKAGAMI Takaaki   LCR Honda    17.969

9     RABAT Tito   Avintia Racing       22.661

10   ZARCO Johann   KTM       26.228

MotoGP gets right back in action at Round 7’s Catalan Grand Prix

Last time out, Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci captured his first ever Premier class win. Petrucci narrowly beat out Reigning Champion Marc Marquez in Mugello with team mate Andrea Dovizioso finishing a close third.  

With a close loss like this, Marquez approaches the upcoming race with extra vigour to get back on the win column. The Catalan race is somewhat of a home race for Repsol Honda. Marquez has a podium finish in three but one race in the premier class since his entry. He currently holds a 12-point lead in the riders’ standings from Dovizioso.  

Lorenzo who’s still coming to grips with the RCV has five wins and seven podiums to his name at the Catalan track, This season has not been easiest for #99…  

Dovizioso has won the race at Catalunya in 2017. He competed in his 300th race in MotoGP at Mugello last time out. He is ready to battle on the Catalan track, while Petrucci, who always finished within the top ten with Ducati at Montmeló  except from a DNF in 2017 is determined to keep the momentum after scoring his first podium of 2019 at Le Mans and winning his first ever MotoGP race at Mugello. 

After a very difficult Mugello race, Yamaha riders need to bounce back or they’ll continue to drift back against their factory team rivals. Valentino Rossi is keen to return to the front of the rider field. He currently holds fifth place in the standings and will resume his championship battle. At Catalunya, the Doctor holds an impressive 13-year podium streak there that lasted from 1997 to 2009 (all classes). He has secured the victory here ten times in total, seven of which while competing in the premier class (2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2016).

Team mate Maverick Vinales is eager to impress all at his home race. He previously achieved four consecutive podium finishes there in lower classes,but has yet to step on the podium in MotoGP. Vinales needs to rank higher than eighth in the standings, with better results in this round and following rounds.

The MotoGP Catalunya  starts with free practice on Friday, then the qualifiers on Saturday and the 24-lap Catalan GP on Sunday.

Petrucci scores first-ever win at Mugello

Ducati has been the team to watch this season, it’s inevitable a win should go to them one way or the other. At Round 6 in Mugello, Danilo Petrucci claimed his first-ever win with Reigning Champion Marc Marquez second and  team mate Andrea Dovizioso third. In a sprint to the finish line, Petrucci dashed to the line just 0.043 seconds in front of Marquez.

Petrucci’s win meant the third straight win for Ducati. Dovizioso at Mugello. Andrea Dovizioso won the previous two rounds here.

At race start, Marquez immediately stormed to lead the field from Cal Crutchlow and Petrucci. Dovizioso was right behind the lead group.  Marquez led for the moment, but Petrucci quickly dispatched the LCR Honda, with Dovizioso overtaking Crutchlow moments later. From there, it’s Marquez versus Petrucci and Dovizioso battled Suzuki’s Alex Rins for most of the race. Rins actually got ahead of the top three for half a lap. But, the Ducatis’ and Repsol Honda’s might was too much for the Suzuki. The two Ducatis quickly stormed back to the lead, with Rins and Marquez in tow.

Past the middle part of the race,  Marquez led from the Ducatis as Petrucci and Dovizioso. The top three exchanged overtaking moves repeatedly and Rins right there with them. It all came down to the final lap of the race, with only four riders left fighting for the victory, Petrucci defended the lead to precede Márquez on the finish line by only 43 thousandths of a second, with Dovizioso third. Prior to the last corner, Marquez and Dovizioso came together as the two were trying to get an edge. In the final sprint to the line, Petrucci was first then Marquez and Dovizioso. Rins who kept up with the leaders finished fourth, closely behind the second Ducati. A certain Takaaki Nakagami was fifth for LCR, ahead of Yamaha factory rider Maverick Vinales.

Viñales had an eventful race, having  lost a few positions at the start. He dropped to 12th and had to play catch up. First, he gained two places and tucked in behind fellow Yamaha rider Fabio Quartararo. With relentless focus he reeled them in and tapped them on the back lying in ninth place when Francesco Bagnaia crashed out with 11 laps to go. But soon the group was pulled apart again. In the closing laps, he gained more positions to get sixth, 7.481s from first.

Ducati wild card rider Michele Pirro took seventh place, mounting a strong comeback despite an issue with his forearm to recover many positions in the second half of the race.

Although finishing in runners-up, Marquez managed to extend his championship lead to 12 points over Dovizioso. Honda have a six point advantage over Ducati in the Constructors.

“I really wanted this victory and when I realized the pace at the front wasn’t too fierce and I was able to manage my rhythm in the leading group, I told myself it was the right time to go for it. I tried to control the race by staying in the lead to avoid the risk of losing too many positions in the battle, dictating the pace to preserve the energies and the tyres for the final rush. I was a bit worried about the slipstream as we entered the final lap, but I managed to brake really deep and find a small gap between Andrea and Marc to retake the lead, then I simply pushed as hard as I could until the checkered flag. A good chunk of this win came thanks to Andrea, who took me under his wing this winter and gave so many precious tips,” Petrucci said.

Bad luck for Valentino Rossi as he started from a lowly 18th and crashed out as he was just getting in a groove.  Having taken 15th from Jorge Lorenzo, he was in the groove but clipped the rear of Joan Mir going into Turn 4 and had to skillfully steer his YZR-M1 through the gravel trap. He rejoined the track in 22nd place. He would finish 21st at the flag.

The Teams will resume action in two weeks’ time at Montmeló for the Grand Prix of Catalunya, scheduled for 14-16 June.

2019 MotoGP Mugello results

1         PETRUCCI Danilo   Ducati  41’33.794

2         MARQUEZ Marc     Repsol Honda + 0.043

3         DOVIZIOSO Andrea          Ducati            0.338

4         RINS Alex     Suzuki          0.535

5         NAKAGAMI Takaaki          LCR Honda              6.535

6         VINALES Maverick  Yamaha MotoGP     7.481

7         PIRRO Michele       Ducati Ducati 13.288

8         CRUTCHLOW Cal   LCR Honda   13.937

9         ESPARGARO Pol   KTM Factory 16.533

10       QUARTARARO Fabio  Yamaha SRT   17.994

Riders standings

1         MARQUEZ Marc     115     Repsol Honda

2         DOVIZIOSO Andrea                     103     Ducati     

3         RINS Alex     88       Team Suzuki

4         PETRUCCI Danilo   82       Ducati

5         ROSSI Valentino     72       Yamaha MotoGP    

6         CRUTCHLOW Cal   42       LCR Honda  

7         MILLER Jack            42       Pramac ti

8         NAKAGAMI Takaaki          40       LCR Honda          

9         VINALES Maverick  40       Yamaha MotoGP  

10       ESPARGARO Pol   38

MotoGP Mugello: The Heat is on

Mugello, host of MotoGP Round 6, is a special playground for most riders.  Featuring sweeping corners and one of the fastest straights of the year, riders typically produce some of the best races of the season.

The championship chase is on to dethrone Reigning Champion Marc Marquez in the riders’ standings. With a historic 300th premier class win in the books, Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo are going for more at one of the most exhilarating circuits in the world. Marquez leads the MotoGP riders standings by eight points and is looking as strong as ever aboard the Honda RC213V. Previously, Marquez has only one MotoGP win at Mugello and he, of course, wants to up the win number at this track.

Lorenzo’s progress with the team gets better with every race. Mugello is a happy hunting ground for Lorenzo since 2008, with six wins in the bag. During the streak, he only missed the podium twice.

Challengers Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales head to Mugello with two purpose to honor the team’s home GP and stop Marquez’s dominance. Rossi of course is a fan favorite here,with a great record of seven back-to-back premier class victories from 2002 to 2008. He also celebrated four MotoGP third places in 2009, 2014, 2015, and 2018, a 250cc win in 1999 following a second place in 1998, and a 125cc win in 1997. The Doctor looks to close his fourth place 23-point gap to Marquez in the standings at Mugello.

Vinales, who failed to get points at Le Mans, is keen on making a strong comeback. There is no better place for him to return to the podium than Mugello, as he likes the track and also looks forward to the great atmosphere there that makes the Italian GP so special. In the lower classes he notched up a run of three-consecutive podiums in Mugello, taking a win in 2012 (Moto3) and two third places, in 2011 (125cc) and 2013 (Moto3). In the MotoGP class he stood on the rostrum after scoring a second place in 2017. This weekend he will challenge for a top spot again.

Also home GP for Ducati, Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci are eager to defend home turf from the other factory squad challengers. Both riders got on the podium at Le Mans last time out. Aside from Rossi, Ducati riders have their fair share of supporters here. And they’ll certainly be able to count on the support of the many ducatisti fans expected during the weekend and gathered, as usual, at the Ducati Grandstands located by the Correntaio corner. 

Dovizioso, who will celebrate his 300th GP start at Mugello, is currently second in the championship, just 8 points behind Márquez. Dovizioso won the Italian GP in 2017, was second last year, and took two more podiums in top class at Mugello. Petrucci has a third place in 2017 (best personal result) with a Ducati satellite team.

Alongside Dovizioso and Petrucci, on a third Desmosedici GP19 fielded by Ducati, Michele Pirro will compete in his first race of the year as a wild-card and celebrate his 100th GP start on Sunday. 

Hamilton continues rampaging 2019 Formula 1 season

It doesn’t matter if it’s a fast track or down right slot circuit like the Monaco strip, Mercedes F1 Team continues rampaging the grid with the likes of Reigning Champion Lewis Hamilton and Valtter Bottas.

After six rounds, Mercedes has blown away the competition with at least three 1-2 finishes. This time at Monte Carlo, Hamilton took the win with Bottas third, spilt by the Ferrari of Sebastien Vettel. Hamilton now has 137 points without even trying, followed by Bottas with 120 points. The nearest pursuer is Vettel, who’s 36 points behind the 2nd  Mercedes. Verstappen could have finished second, but due to an infringement and a 5-second penalty, he was demoted to fourth. As for viewership, you actually don’t have to bother watching the race these days…

Here’s the selected  top ten drivers’ take on the Monaco GP

Hamilton:  It was one of the hardest races of my career, it was so intense. With 20 laps left I thought there was no way I was going to make it to the end. I thought I was going to crash, I was battling so much with the car. There was absolutely nothing left in the tyres and it was so tough to keep the car on the track.

Verstappen:  I gave it my all! I think we were very competitive and I enjoyed putting the pressure on and trying to go for the win. You know when you’re up against Lewis it’s going to be very hard but I kept pushing him and I tried to force him into a mistake. I made him use his tyres a bit more than he wanted which meant I could attack. At one point I could see his tyres really dropping off and there were a few corners on the track where he was really slow which meant I could line up a move, but we just couldn’t get close enough. With a few laps to go, I thought I’m going to try it now and see what happens. We touched but luckily nothing came of it. The penalty from the pit stop is unfortunate, but I don’t think the Team did anything wrong and it is impossible to see in that tight pit lane.

Sainz:   P6 today is a very good result and my third points finish in a row. An amazing first lap after passing both Toro Rossos around the outside at Turn Three. Definitely one of my best overtakes! After that, a good pit call to stay out under the Safety Car and some solid laps to earn P6.

Kvyat: We can be satisfied with the amount of points we brought home today and with how we managed the race – the teamwork was fantastic, the support I got from everyone was great! P7 is a great result in Monaco. We have been working hard over the past few weeks to see where we need to improve and what I need to go faster, and we found it.

Ricciardo: We definitely could have done better and got a great result as we had all the cards in our hand. Although we missed some points, the car was very good even though we couldn’t always use the speed we had. We’ll look at what happened and address it for future races.

The season now moves to Canada in a fortnight’s time for the seventh round of the season.

Formula 1 Monaco GP results

1 LewisHamilton MERCEDES 1:43:28.437 25
2 SebastianVettel FERRARI +2.602s 18
3 ValtteriBottas MERCEDES +3.162s 15
4 MaxVerstappen RED BULL RACING HONDA +5.537s 12
5 PierreGasly RED BULL RACING HONDA +9.946s 11
6 CarlosSainz MCLAREN RENAULT +53.454s 8
7 DaniilKvyat SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA +54.574s 6
8 AlexanderAlbon SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA +55.200s 4
9 DanielRicciardo RENAULT +60.894s 2
10 RomainGrosjean HAAS FERRARI +61.034s

Drivers standings

2     Valtteri Bottas          MERCEDES    120

1     Lewis Hamilton           MERCEDES    137

3     Sebastian Vettel  FERRARI        82

4     Max Verstappen  RED BULL    78

5     Charles Leclerc     FERRARI 57

6     Pierre Gasly  RED BULL    32

7     Carlos Sainz  MCLAREN RENAULT       18

8     Kevin Magnussen HAAS FERRARI 14

9     Sergio Perez        RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES      13

10   Kimi Räikkönen      ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI  13

Marquez gets on a roll to take win at Le Mans

It was Reigning Champion Marc Marquez’s second win in the European leg after his emphatic victory at Le Mans. The win was Marquez’s third of the season as he topped the two Ducatis of Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci.

Right from the start, Marquez tried to pull clear. However, Satellite rider Jack Miller decided to bring on the challenge to try to take on the defending champion. He successfully got ahead of Marquez for a couple of laps until the factory Honda answered back. Marquez would swoop past Miller for the lead on lap 6. From there, he never looked back.

Behind the champion, Miller had to ward off the two chasing factory Ducatis. But, the GP11s proved to be too much as Dovizioso easily took second at the half-way mark. His team mate in the second Ducati did it much later in the race as he squeezed past Miller for third, seven laps from the end.

Without even a glance back, Marquez would finish almost 2 seconds clear of the lead Ducati for Honda’s 300th in MotoGP. It was Marquez’s 47th premier class career win, which coincidentaly draws him level with team mate Jorge Lorenzo on the all-time list. Lorenzo finished the race in a dismal 11th.

“I think this is the first time I have had a race where I had the soft tyre in the front but it was the safest option. I was focused on being consistent until I saw the gap increasing, I pushed a little bit more and into the low 32s until I saw I had two seconds. I’m happy with today’s result and it is fantastic to be able to take Honda’s 300th premier class win!” Marquez said in post-race.

After five rounds, Marquez tops the riders standings with 95 points, then Dovizioso with 87 points. Repsol Honda hold the lead from Ducati in the manufacturers.

Valentino Rossi was the only finisher for Yamaha as Maverick Vinales was taken out of the race. Rossi had a duel with Dovizioso early in the race, but would soon drop out of the front runner contention. Petrucci would pass him for fourth in the mid-distance. After that, he would settle behind Miller until the end of the race. He made a last dash to challenge Miller for position but came just short of making a move.

The teams will be back in action in Tuscany in two weeks’ time for the Italian Grand Prix, held at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello.

2019 MotoGP Le Mans results

1         MARQUEZ Marc     Repsol Honda Team                     41’53.647

2         DOVIZIOSO Andrea          Ducati            1.984

3         PETRUCCI Danilo   Ducati                     2.142

4         MILLER Jack  Pramac               2.940

5         ROSSI Valentino     Yamaha 3.053

6         ESPARGARO Pol   KTM   5.935

7         MORBIDELLI Franco   Yamaha SRT      7.187

8         QUARTARARO Fabio Yamaha SRT       8.439

9         CRUTCHLOW Cal   LCR   9.853

10       RINS Alex     Suzuki          13.709

Riders standings

1 MARQUEZ Marc SPA 95  
2 DOVIZIOSO Andrea ITA 87  
3 RINS Alex SPA 75  
4 ROSSI Valentino ITA 72  
5 PETRUCCI Danilo ITA 57 i  
6 MILLER Jack AUS 42  
7 MORBIDELLI Franco ITA 34  
8 CRUTCHLOW Cal 5 GBR 34  
10 VINALES Maverick SPA 30

MotoGP hits fifth round at Le Mans

After the previous round, Reigning Champion Marc Marquez intends to continue the winning momentum at the Le Mans track.

With a dominating start-to-finish victory at Jerez, Marquez banished his Austin demons at the Spanish GP to walk away with 25 points and the lead in the riders’ standings. The Le Mans Circuit has offered the Repsol Honda Team rider somewhat mixed results in the premier class with two wins and a total of three podiums to his name.

Team mate Jorge Lorenzo is still finding his rhythm on the RCV. Lorenzo has five premier class victories to his name at Le Mans and hopes to make an impression in a Honda.

After finishing with both its riders in the top five at Jerez), Ducati riders are ready to resume action at Le Mans. Andrea Dovizioso won the French GP in 2004 in the 125cc class. Should he finish within the top three on Sunday, Dovizioso would score his 95th podium in the Premier class, equalling Mick Doohan in 12th place all-time for career podium finishes. The Italian has the most starts at Le Mns after the great ‘#46’. Dovizioso’s best result with Ducati at Le Mans is third (2015). When he reached the checkered flag in France, Dovizioso has always finished within the top five with Ducati in France. 

Team mate Danilo Petrucci scored his best result in dry conditions in MotoGP at Le Mans, finishing second with the Desmosedici GP with Pramac. The Italian rider took three more second-place finishes in his MotoGP career, but always in wet conditions. 

Rossi is currently fourth in the championship rankings, but only nine points from the top. Knowing that the Le Mans circuit is usually well-suited to his Yamaha’s nimble character, the Italian is looking to score his third podium finish of the season, and the odds are in his favor. The Doctpr has three victories at Le Mans (2002, 2005, and 2008), six second places (2003, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2016), and four third places (2000, 2001, 2011, and 2018).

Maverick Viñales returned to the podium at the previous round in Jerez, which is essentially a difficult track for him. The third-place confidence boost made him determined to also pay a visit to the French rostrum again, of which he has fond memories. In 2017 the Spaniard secured a hard-fought win there on his YZR-M1, and one year earlier he also scored a MotoGP third-place race result.

After last week’s test he approaches the race in Le Mans with a positive mindset and will be giving his all to further fight his way up the standings.