MotorcycleDaily.com – Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Resilient Rossi Rallies to Third in Le Mans


Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi raised the bar today at the Bugatti Circuit in Le Mans. He started the race from the third row of the grid and fought his way up to ultimately take a strong 3rd place finish. Maverick Viñales made up for a difficult start to the Grand Prix de France, riding from 13th to 7th position.

Le Mans (France), 20th May 2018 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi showed once again you should never count him out for the race, regardless of his starting position. He displayed a competitive pace aboard his YZR-M1 throughout today’s entire Grand Prix de France, to take a strong third place on the podium. Maverick Viñales scored solid points with a seventh position result at the end of a challenging weekend and took over second place in the championship standings.

Rossi had a brilliant start, rushing from ninth to sixth place in the first corners. An early faller moved the Italian up another spot as he settled into the leading group. He subsequently lost a place to Danilo Petrucci, but moved back up to fifth when Andrea Dovizioso crashed out of the lead.

Johann Zarco also fell victim to a lack of grip, allowing Rossi up to fourth. The Doctor could smell a podium result and picked up the pace, soon taking third position from Jorge Lorenzo. He set a provisional fastest race lap of 1‘31.426s with 13 laps to go, eager to close the gap to Petrucci and kick off a fight for second place, but the Yamaha-rider wasn‘t able to get close enough. He crossed the line in third place, 5.350s from the front.

Viñales struggled to match the pace at the start of the 27 lap race. He was in 11th place after the first sector, but was eager to keep up with the front-runners. He briefly moved up to ninth when a lack of grip cost him four positions. He had his work cut out for him, riding in 13th, but the Spaniard is no slouch. He gradually started to pick up places and snatched ninth as he became more daring on the soft front and rear tyre.

On a second wind, he started to consistently clock 1‘33s-low times to reel in Alex Rins. On lap 19 and 20 he swiftly moved past him as well as Aleix Espargaró for seventh place, thus fuelling his motivation to keep fighting. He put in a personal best lap of 1‘32.871s with two laps to go, but the margin to Lorenzo was too big to bridge. The young gun took the chequered flag 23.758s after the race leader but earned some valuable championship points.

Viñales’ seventh place moves him up to second position in the championship standings with 59 points, 3 points ahead of teammate Rossi, who climbed up to fourth position. The solid results keep Yamaha in second place in the Constructor Championship with a 28-point margin to first, while the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team dropped to second position in the team standings and now have a 9-point gap to the top.

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP will be back in action in two weeks‘ time at the team‘s and Rossi‘s home Grand Prix, the Gran Premio d‘Italia Oakley, held at the Autodromo del Mugello from June 1st – 3rd.

MASSIMO MEREGALLI
TEAM DIRECTOR

“Today’s podium is important and encouraging for the team. Valentino really deserved the third place he earned today, because he never gave up throughout this weekend. He used all his experience and his resilience to prepare for this race and once again proved his pedigree, especially considering the set-back of yesterday’s qualifying. Maverick had a difficult start and he needed a lot of time to overtake the riders in front of him. By the time he had a clear track he was able to ride good lap times, but by then the gap to the front was already too big. On a positive note, he did take over second place in the championship standings, but it’s mainly Vale’s podium result, at a track that caught out many riders today, that gives the team a boost for the next GP. However, first we’ll be testing at Montmeló, to try the resurfaced track, and this will give us some further time to work on the bikes’ balance.”

VALENTINO ROSSI

“Since yesterday, we‘ve worked well. I was feeling quite pessimistic after qualifying, but we made two or three modifications to the balance of the bike that gave me more grip and also made me lose less in acceleration. Already this morning in the warm up I was not so bad, so I thought “I can do a good race”, but starting from the third row is always difficult. You have to stay concentrated, but I had a great start and right from the first lap I was able to overtake. I was in the right group. The other positive thing was that after that lap I was fast, I did good lap times and I had a good pace, this is very important. I hope that we can continue to work strongly, like we did today, to further improve the bike.”

MAVERICK VIÑALES

“This was not the race I hoped for when I arrived here in Le Mans. It took me quite some time to get past a few rivals and when I arrived in seventh place the gap to the riders in front of me was too big. It’s disappointing that I couldn’t fight at the front today, and this is something we need to keep working on, but I did move up to second in the championship standings. This means we need to stay focused and keep working hard, starting at the test in Montmeló. I can’t wait to go there so we can try to make another step before the next GP.”

GRAND PRIX de FRANCE – RACE RESULTS

20/05/2018

1. M. MARQUEZ REPSOL HONDA TEAM 41’49.773

2. D. PETRUCCI ALMA PRAMAC RACING + 2.310

3. V. ROSSI MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP + 5.350

4. J. MILLER ALMA PRAMAC RACING + 6.314

5. D. PEDROSA REPSOL HONDA TEAM + 7.419

6. J. LORENZO DUCATI TEAM + 10.355

7. M. VIÑALES MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP + 23.758

8. C. CRUTCHLOW LCR HONDA CASTROL + 25.795

9. A. ESPARGARÒ APRILIA RACING TEAM GRESINI + 26.206

10. A. RINS TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR + 27.937

11. P. ESPARGARÒ RED BULL KTM FACTORY RACING + 32.304

12. H. SYAHRIN MONSTER YAMAHA TECH3 + 34.962

13. F. MORBIDELLI EG 0,0 MARC VDS + 37.881

14. B. SMITH RED BULL KTM FACTORY RACING + 38.299

15. T. NAKAGAMI LCR HONDA IDEMITSU + 41.986

16. T. LUTHI EG 0,0 MARC VDS + 45.260

17. K. ABRAHAM ANGEL NIETO TEAM + 56.872

18. X. SIMEON REALE AVINTIA RACING + 1’12.117

19. S. REDDING APRILIA RACING TEAM GRESINI N.C. (17 laps)

20. T. RABAT REALE AVINTIA RACING N.C. (17 laps)

21. J. ZARCO MONSTER YAMAHA TECH3 N.C. (19 laps)

22. A. DOVIZIOSO DUCATI TEAM N.C. (23 laps)

23. A. BAUTISTA ANGEL NIETO TEAM N.C. (26 laps)

24. A. IANNONE TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR Not starting

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP CLASSIFICATION

1. Marc Marquez (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 95

2. Maverick Viñales (SPA) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 59

3. Johann Zarco (FRA) Monster Yamaha Tech3 58

4. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 56

5. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Alma Pramac Racing 54

6. Jack Miller (AUS) Alma Pramac Racing 49

7. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Team Suzuki Ecstar 47

8. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Ducati Team 46

9. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) LCR Honda Castrol 46

10. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 29

11. Tito Rabat (SPA) Reale Avintia Racing 24

12. Alex Rins (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar 22

13. Pol Espargarò (SPA) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 18

14. Franco Morbidelli (ITA) EG 0,0 Marc VDS 16

15. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Ducati Team 16

16. Hafizh Syahrin (MAL) Monster Yamaha Tech3 13

17. Aleix Espargarò (SPA) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 13

18. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Angel Nieto Team 12

19. Takaaki Nakagami (JPN) LCR Honda Idemitsu 10

20. Mika Kallio (FIN) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 6

21. Scott Redding (GBR) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 5

22. Bradley Smith (GBR) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 5

23. Karel Abraham (CZE) Angel Nieto Team 1

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP CLASSIFICATION
CONSTRUCTOR

1. Honda 120
2. Yamaha 92
3. Ducati 82
4. Suzuki 61
5. KTM 19
6. Aprilia 18

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP CLASSIFICATION
TEAM

1. REPSOL HONDA TEAM 124
2. MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP 115
3. ALMA PRAMAC RACING 103
4. MONSTER YAMAHA TECH 3 71
5. TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR 69
6. DUCATI TEAM 62
7. LCR HONDA 56
8. REALE AVINTIA RACING 24
9. RED BULL KTM FACTORY RACING 23
10. APRILIA RACING TEAM GRESINI 18
11. EG 0,0 MARC VDS 16
12. ANGEL NIETO TEAM 13

CIRCUIT INFORMATION

CIRCUIT Le Mans
LOCATION Le Mans, France
Visit website

LENGTH (M) 4180
WIDTH (M) 13
POLE POSITION left

TURNS 14
TURNS RIGHT 9
TURNS LEFT 5

RECORD LAP
TIME 1’32.309
RIDER M. Viñales
BIKE Yamaha
YEAR 2017

NEW BEST LAP
TIME 1’31.185
RIDER J. Zarco
BIKE Yamaha
YEAR 2018

2017 RESULTS
M. Viñales (Yamaha) 43’29.793
J. Zarco (Yamaha Tech 3) +3.134
D. Pedrosa (Honda +7.717