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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Ducati Team gets ready for French Grand Prix at Le Mans

After completing a one-day private test at Mugello yesterday, the Ducati Team has now arrived in France for the fifth round of the championship, to be held at the Le Mans circuit.

The track where the bike races are 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 thousands of French fans who pack the grandstands every year.

Andrea Dovizioso has often been able to produce good results at Le Mans, the Italian in fact always qualifying for the race on the front row in the last five years. Dovi has stepped onto the podium three times in the premier class, the last time twelve months ago when he placed third after qualifying second on the grid. In his three MotoGP races at Le Mans on the other hand, the best result for Andrea Iannone was fifth place last year.

In the last few days one of the main activities within Ducati Corse was a careful analysis of the cause of Andrea Dovizioso’s retirement on lap 10 at Jerez, during the Spanish GP. The conclusion was that the #04 Desmosedici GP’s retirement was not caused by a breakdown of the water pump, but by a problem with another component that prevented the pump from functioning correctly. Ducati Corse wishes therefore to reiterate its full confidence in the quality of the products supplied by OMP, a company which for many years has been an extremely reliable partner for the racing department of Borgo Panigale.

The Le Mans 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 Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 10th (25 points)
“Today we have arrived at Le Mans, a track I like a lot. Last year it was a positive race for me and I was quick, despite the shoulder injury I picked up when I crashed in Mugello testing. My approach is therefore relaxed and positive, because this year I know that we have really excellent potential. Obviously, after the difficulties we had at Jerez, now we have to keep up a high competitive level in all the coming races.”

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 11° (23 punti)
“With the new tyres, this year it is really difficult to know what a circuit is going to be like before we take to the track on Friday morning. Every race weekend is completely different to the previous one and so you have to start the work afresh. We have to understand how the tyres are going to work here on my Desmosedici GP, but I am confident because Le Mans is a track where I always manage to express my potential and hopefully we have the chance to be competitive and fight with the top guys.”

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: Marquez (Honda), 1’32.042 (163.6 km/h) – 2014
Circuit Record: Rossi (Yamaha), 1’32.879 (162.2 km/h) – 2015
Best Pole: Marquez (Honda), 1’32.042 (163.6 km/h) – 2014
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

2015 Results
Podium: 1st Lorenzo (Yamaha), 2nd Rossi (Yamaha), 3rd Dovizioso (Ducati)
Pole Position: Marquez (Honda), 1’32.246 (163.3 km/h)
Fastest Lap: Rossi (Yamaha), 1’32.879 (162.2 km/h)

Andrea Dovizioso
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Race Number: 04
Age: 30 (born on March 23rd 1986 in Forlimpopoli, Italy)
Residence: Forlì (Italy)
Races: 244 (146 x MotoGP, 49 x 250cc, 49 x 125cc)
First GP: 2001 Italian GP (125cc)
Wins: 10 (1 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 5 x 125cc)
First Win: 2004 South African GP (125cc)
Pole Positions: 16 (3 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 9 x 125cc)
First Pole: 2003 French GP (125cc)
Titles: 1 (1 x 125cc)

Andrea Iannone
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Race Number: 29
Age: 26 (born on August 9th 1989 in Vasto, Italy)
Residence: Vasto (Italy)
Races: 182 (55 x MotoGP, 51 x Moto2, 76 x 125cc)
First GP: 2005 Spanish GP (125cc)
Wins: 12 (8 x Moto2, 4 x 125cc)
First Win: 2008 GP of China (125cc)
Pole Positions: 9 (1 x MotoGP, 5 x Moto2, 3 x 125cc)
First Pole: 2008 GP of Malaysia (125cc)

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