News 9 May 2016

Lorenzo victorious in Le Mans race of attrition

World champion takes over 2016 title lead in France.

Source: Supplied.

Source: Supplied.

Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo sprinted away to the MotoGP race win at Le Mans’ Grand Prix of France overnight, taking the world championship lead as havoc broke out behind him.

Lorenzo eventually crossed the line 10.654s ahead of teammate Valentino Rossi, who recovered from a bad start for the runner-up, and Maverick Vinales, delivering Team Suzuki its first podium since 2008.

“I’m very happy with this victory, because everything has been almost perfect,” Lorenzo explained. “In the race I knew Marquez had the chance to fight for the victory with me or if he wasn’t very fast, he would have been second or third and that would have meant he would still have kept his first position in the championship, but he crashed.

“Now in the championship three riders scored zero or very little points in one race, so in some way we are starting the championship from zero again after those races, but with us being five points ahead.”

The result saw defending world champion Lorenzo rocket to the top of the points standings, five ahead of Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) after the latter crashed in a bizarre synchronised fall directly behind Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) on lap seven. Marquez recovered for 13th.

“It was a pity about the crash today,” Marquez said. “I was having a good race, but these things can happen when you’re at the limit on every lap. I could have opted for a more conservative race, but here you can end up far back if you do that, so today I had to take risks.”

Behind Vinales in fourth was Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) and Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) filling the top five, with Aleix Espargaro (Team Suzuki), Danilo Petrucci (Pramac Ducati), Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing Ducati), Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) and Stefan Bradl (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) the top 10.

The extensive list of crashers included the aforementioned Marquez and Dovizioso, as well as Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3), Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team), Tito Rabat (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda), Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda), Yonny Hernandez (Avinitia Racing Ducati) and Jack Miller (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda). Scott Redding had a mechanical of his Pramac Ducati.

Australian Miller had surged from 18th on the sixth row of the grid to be in 10th position when he inexplicably lost the front at the tricky turn seven on lap 18. It was an impressive burst from the hard charging Miller who is slowly recovering full fitness after two painful injuries to his right ankle and foot.

The Moto2 podium featured Alex Rins (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) alongside Simone Corsi Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing) and pole-setter Tom Luthi (Garage Plus Interwetten), while in Moto3 Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) made it back-to-back wins over Romano Fenati (Sky Racing Team VR46 KTM) and Jorge Navarro (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda).