The legendary Le Mans circuit plays host to the fastest motorcycles in the world. Here is what this year’s Le Mans GP had in store for us
FABIo QUARTARARo on THE PETRonAS Yamaha SRT motorcycle had pole, but, with the two Ducatis of Jack Miller on the Pramac Ducati and Danilo Petrucci of Ducati Team, the thought of entering corner one in the lead seemed hopeless. Yes, folk, it is MotoGP time and we were in France at the legendary Le Mans circuit. Here is what happened.
At the lights, the opening sentence proved true, as now three Ducatis dashed into an early break-away group. Miller and Petrucci were now joined by Andrea Dovizioso of Ducati Team and the three were slowly opening up a lead over the rest.
Meanwhile, the championship leader, Fabio, started to run into a little trouble, falling prey to a few souls on wheels. nevertheless, Quartararo could afford a sigh of relief as two of his three main rivals, Maverick Viñales on the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP bike and Team Suzuki Ecstar rider, Joan Mir, were fighting for rhythm themselves. However, Dovi was immaculate, hinting at the Dovi we all once knew.
The race now started to take on a surprising turn, as fastest laptimes started to be set by unlikely sources for 2020. Stefan Bradl on the Repsol Honda Team bike was among the top 10. The German has been the replacement for Marc Marquez. However, Marquez it was who was setting fast laps, this was Alex Marquez on the Repsol Honda. The reigning world champion’s brother seemed to have found unity with the Honda finally and it sure showed. The younger Marquez barged his way through all in front and, finally, finished the race in second place, a first podium for the young Spaniard.
Alex Marquez’s replacement for next season, Pol Espargaro on the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing bike, was also having a great race, working his way up the order and finishing in third. Fourth place was won by Dovi, who, with this result, closed the gap to Fabio, Maverick,
TIMING and Joan above him in the championship and continued his title contention for 2020. Unfortunately, Jack Miller’s motorcycle let him down and he had to retire from the race with technical issues when he was in second place.
However, the day belonged to none other than Danilo Petrucci. Petrucci claimed that he felt happy, comfortable, and confident at Le Mans and he did prove it. Danilo rode at the front, allowing no one a chance to trouble him. Stunning victory for the always smiling Italian rider. We now head to Aragon, Spain, where the brilliant MotoGP 2020 season continues.
The Moto2 championship leader, Luca Marini of Sky Racing Team VR46, damaged his lead severely as he finished in 17th position at Le Mans. The Italian rider had worse luck as two of his three main championship rivals had much better days with the Englishman, Sam Lowes on the Marc VDS bike, taking the victory. Second place went to Marini’s Sky Racing Team VR46 teammate, Marco Bezzecchi, who, in turn, caught up a fair bit with the top three riders in the championship.
Second-placed in world standings is Enea Bastianini of Italtrans Racing Team who would have the best opportunity to make the best of Marini’s faltered ride. However, Bastianini found himself struggling, too, finishing in 11th place. Bastianini and Marini are both under a fair bit of pressure from Bezzecchi and Lowes as we head to Aragon. Twists and turns seem to be on the cards.
It was a sunny day for Sky Racing Team VR46 as Celestino Vietti took the victory in Moto3. The young Italian braved the usual onslaught of Moto3 racing and claimed a well-deserved victory. Tony Arbolino on the Rivacold Snipers Team came in second, fighting off the challenge of championship leader Albert Arenas on the Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3 machine.
Jaume Masia of Leopard Racing, Andrea Migno on the second Sky Racing Team VR46 bike, and Ayumi Sasaki on the red Bull KTM Tech 3 motorcycle followed the above three. However, championship rival of Arenas, Ai ogura of Honda Team Asia, could only manage a ninth-place finish, causing a dent to his claim to the 2020 Moto3 throne. If ogura is to continue to hope for the title, he must perform well next at Aragon.