Ducati Team arrives at Le Mans for French Grand Prix2017-05-17 13:16
After completing a one-day test at Mugello on Monday 15th May, the Ducati Team has now arrived in France for the fifth round of the championship, which will take place at the legendary Le Mans circuit.
The track where the French GP is held – the Bugatti Circuit – forms part of bike racing history and even though it only shares a small part with the Circuit de la Sarthe, where every year the legendary Le Mans 24 Hour car race takes place, it offers a superb spectacle for the massive numbers of fans who pack the grandstands every year.
Jorge Lorenzo, coming off the back of his first podium of the year at Jerez, has an extraordinary record at Le Mans. Since his debut in MotoGP he has notched up a total of five wins at this circuit, two of which in the last two editions. In addition, in nine French GP races here he has qualified on the front row on five occasions, including pole position for last year’s race.
Andrea Dovizioso has also been able to score some good results at Le Mans, qualifying on the front row five times in nine years. Dovi has stepped onto the French podium three times in MotoGP, the last one in 2015 when he finished third, while last year a crash put paid to his race while he was in third place.
The French GP weekend gets underway on Friday morning with the first free practice session at 9.55 am, while the 28-lap race is scheduled for 2 pm on Sunday.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 5th (41 points)
“After a fifth place in Spain, we now go to Le Mans with more optimism and confidence. In Argentina but above all in Texas we were in a bit of difficulty, but at Jerez, on a notoriously insidious track for us, we were quite competitive even though we finished the race at quite a big gap from Pedrosa. I think that Le Mans could be a more favourable circuit for us, especially because we will be racing on a new track surface which means good grip and so I think we can do well there.”
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 9th (28 points)
“Following the good vibrations we had at Jerez, we are now at Le Mans which is another circuit where I have good memories because I have managed to win a number of times and in different categories. I have to say however that every circuit has its own story, and here we’ll have to see how my Desmosedici goes with the new tarmac. The most important thing however is to maintain the positive spirit that helped us to get onto the podium at Jerez. I am optimistic for this race, because from Austin onwards there has been considerable improvement, especially in terms of sensations, and I’m starting to feel the Desmosedici increasingly mine.”
The Le Mans circuit
The ‘Bugatti’ circuit lies about 5 km south of the town of Le Mans. Built in 1965 around the Le Mans 24 Hours car racing circuit, at the end of the 1960s the track became the venue for the grand prix bike race. After a few years the Le Mans round disappeared from the championship calendar until the 2000 season, while work was carried out to improve safety. One of the main features of the narrow track is the strange nature of its curves, which force the riders to brake brusquely and then accelerate hard out. The circuit can accommodate more than 100,000 spectators and has five left-hand corners and nine right.
Fastest Lap: Lorenzo (Yamaha), 1’31.975 (163.8 km/h) - 2016
Circuit Record: Rossi (Yamaha), 1’32.879 (162.2 km/h) - 2015
Best Pole: Lorenzo (Yamaha), 1’31.975 (163.8 km/h) - 2016
Top Speed: Iannone (Ducati), 316.6 km/h - 2015
Track Length: 4.2 km
Race Distance: 28 laps (117.2 km)
Corners: 14 (5 left, 9 right)
Race Start: 14.00 CET
Podium: 1st Lorenzo (Yamaha), 2nd Rossi (Yamaha), 3rd Viñales (Suzuki)
Pole Position: Lorenzo (Yamaha), 1’31.975 (163.805 km/h)
Fastest Lap: Rossi (Yamaha), 1’33.293 (161.491 km/h)
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Race Number: 99
Age: 30 (born on May 4th 1987 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain)
Residence: Lugano (Switzerland)
Races: 254 (160 x MotoGP, 48 x 250cc, 46 x 125cc)
First GP: 2002 Spanish GP (125cc)
Wins: 65 (44 x MotoGP, 17 x 250cc, 4 x 125cc)
First Win: 2003 Brazilian GP (125cc)
Pole Positions: 65 (39 x MotoGP, 23 x 250cc, 3 x 125cc)
First Pole: 2003 Malaysian GP (125cc)
World Titles: 5 (3 x MotoGP, 2 x 250cc)
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Race Number: 04
Age: 31 (born on March 23rd 1986 in Forlimpopoli, Italy)
Residence: Forlì (Italy)
Races: 262 (164 x MotoGP, 49 x 250cc, 49 x 125cc)
First GP: 2001 Italian GP (125cc)
Wins: 11 (2 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 5 x 125cc)
First Win: 2004 South African GP (125cc)
Pole Positions: 18 (5 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 9 x 125cc)
First Pole: 2003 French GP (125cc)
World Titles: 1 (1 x 125cc)
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