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GP of France (Le Mans) – Cold, rain and hot brakes

Did you know…?

– Lorenzo has had six victories in Le Mans. He is the rider with the most wins at the French track: 1 in 250cc (2007) and 5 in MotoGP (2009, 2010, 2012, 2015 and 2016).

– Le Mans comes second after Qatar and Mugello, the circuits where Jorge Lorenzo has had the most wins.

– At the last race in Jerez, Lorenzo scored his first podium with Ducati. With the addition of Jorge, there are 15 riders who have managed to step onto the podium with the Italian motorcycle in MotoGP: Capirossi (2003), Bayliss (2003), Xaus (2004), Checa (2005), Stoner (2007), Barros (2007), Elías (2008), Hayden (2009), Rossi (2011), Dovizioso and Crutchlow (2014), Iannone (2015), Petrucci (2015), Redding (2016) and Lorenzo (2017).

– At the French GP in 2003 Jorge Lorenzo managed to qualify on the first row of the grid for the first time in his professional racing career. Two years later, in 2005, and also at the Le Mans circuit, Lorenzo was first on the front row in the 250cc class.

– Only on two occasions has Lorenzo won at Le Mans starting from pole position, in 2007 as a 250cc rider, and last year.

– Andrea Dovizioso was victorious at the 2004 French GP, with a pass on Locatelli on the last lap. Curiously, the third place rider in that race was Lorenzo.

– In the 2006 GP, Dovizioso fought for victory, arriving at the last corner leading the race, but lost that position in the short acceleration from the corner to the finish line.

– Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso fought for the win at the 2007 French GP until the last corner. The triumph ultimately went to the Spanish rider.

– In addition to 2004 and 2007, Lorenzo and Dovizioso met up on the podium at Le Mans two more times, in 2010 and 2015.

– In his first MotoGP appearance at Le Mans, Lorenzo arrived with fractures in both ankles. Nevertheless he managed to finish second after an incredible comeback from 11th position.

– The World Championship has visited Le Mans on 29 occasions, which is the fourth highest number of GPs, behind Assen with 68, Spa-Francorchamps with 40, and 30 of Jerez.

– Le Mans is considered to be ‘a stop & go’ circuit because it is composed of strong accelerations from low speed, followed by hard braking. There are seven hard accelerations from speeds below 100 km/h.

– The riders are on the brakes for over 26% of the track.

– It has the shortest front straight of the championship at only 450 meters, and the fastest corner of the whole calendar, which is taken at about 200 km/h.

– It is the third shortest circuit of the Championship, behind Sachsenring and Cheste.

– The entire track has been resurfaced, eliminating the potholes of which riders complained so much about in the past. The drainage has improved as well.

– The layout of the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans uses only a small part of the circuit where the motorcycles run, specifically from the entrance of the finish line up to turn 6, called La Chapelle. From this point, the route leaves the limits of the circuit and enters normal roads making a route of 13.63 km, much higher than the 4.2 km the MotoGP riders race over.

– The chicane at the end of the first corner makes Le Mans the track with the most dangerous start, where there have been numerous crashes due to the change of direction that comes after a long, high speed right hand corner.

– Valentino Rossi scored his first podium with Ducati at Le Mans. Curiously, Le Mans was the only track in which he was able to get on the podium again with the Italian motorcycle, which happened in 2011 and 2012, with a 3rd and 2nd respectively.

– Ducati has never had a victory at Le Mans. Their best result was the second place they achieved with Capirossi in 2006 and with Rossi in 2012.