Ángel Nieto Team MotoGP - 05 French GP Preview2018-05-14 14:29
Spanish MotoGP team picked up best result of the season with Álvaro Bautista last time out at Jerez
The fifth round of the MotoGP World Championship takes place this weekend at the historic circuit of Le Mans, where Marc Márquez arrives as the series leader after Andrea Dovizioso’s DNF at Jerez. Márquez himself failed to finish last year in France, in what was a memorable home Grand Prix for Johann Zarco, who currently lies second in the championship. The Frenchman started from the front row for the first time in MotoGP and went on to claim his debut podium, crossing the line in second position behind Maverick Viñales, who has not won since. This year’s 27-lap race again promises much.
For the Ángel Nieto Team the goal for France is to build on the progress made last time out at Jerez. Álvaro Bautista recovered from 20th on the grid to finish his home race in eighth, whilst his team-mate Karel Abraham also made up seven positions before crashing out. The Spaniard stayed on with the Ángel Nieto Team for a day of testing on the Monday after the race at Jerez, to further improve his feeling with the Ducati GP17 and the Michelin tyres. Abraham, meanwhile, will be looking to get back on the pace he showed in Spain, which would have been sufficient for a top ten position had he made the finish.
Álvaro Bautista: “After the Grand Prix at Jerez we stayed on for a day of testing that allowed us to try some things to improve the set-up. We gathered some positive data and found some things that could help us in the future, especially in lower temperatures. I am looking forward to getting on track in France to see if the feeling is the same as Jerez. It is a short track with a lot of direction changes, where the contact between the tyres and the asphalt is important. I think the tests we did at Jerez can help us there. The objective is to reduce the gap to the front guys and I think we are on the right path to doing that.”
Karel Abraham: “I am looking forward to racing at Le Mans, where we didn’t manage to finish the race last season. It is a track that I have always liked, apart from one aspect – the asphalt, which they have now changed. It is a track with a lot of direction changes and a short straight. Let’s see.”
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