Movistar Yamaha MotoGP All Set for French GP
After an incredibly successful weekend in Jerez, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi are ready for action for the fifth round of the championship in Le Mans.
With Jorge Lorenzo's spectacular victory in Jerez a fortnight ago still fresh in mind, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team is ready to continue challenging at the top during the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France staged at the Le Mans Bugatti Grand Prix race circuit this Sunday.
Having claimed his 200th career podium finish in Jerez, Valentino Rossi is excited to start the fifth round of the championship. He has topped the standing since the opening round in Qatar and is hoping to further extend his 15 points lead by adding another good result to his already extensive list of podium finishes at the French circuit. The Doctor has claimed three premier class victories at Le Mans in 2002, 2005 and 2008, four second places in 2003, 2010, 2012 and 2014 and three third places in 2000, 2001 and 2011.
Teammate Lorenzo has also had numerous successes at the Bugatti Grand Prix track and is eager to repeat his marvelous victory at the previous round this weekend. Having topped the time sheets of the Jerez test a little more than a week ago, he looks forward to being even more competitive aboard his beloved YZR-M1. He is confident he can add another top score to his impressive resume of three premier class wins in 2009, 2010 and 2012 and a second place in 2008. The Spaniard currently holds third place in the championship, just 20 points behind his teammate.
Built in 1965, the Le Mans Bugatti Grand Prix race circuit forms part of the famous 24-Hour track, just 5km south of the city of Le Mans. The venue has hosted Grand Prix since the late sixties, but was taken off the MotoGP calendar from 1996 until 2000 after a serious accident in 1995 involving Spanish rider Alberto Puig. The safety of the tight track has since been improved and can now comfortably accommodate 100,000 spectators.
Dominated by first gear corners, the circuit places the emphasis on late braking, hard acceleration and rear end traction and has been the scene of a lot of racing drama in the past.
"I'm happy to go to Le Mans, it is a nice track, but every year it's different. Usually it's a good race for us, Yamaha and me, but last year our competitors were very strong. I imagine that Marc will also be strong this year, but I like this circuit, I like to ride here and our bike seems to go very well, especially on Sunday afternoon! This is a good thing, because we have to fight for the Championship. In Jerez we didn't have a perfect weekend. Third place was positive, but we can do better. Jorge did a great race, so the YZR-M1 is doing really well. At Le Mans we have to work well and fix the bike better. I'm confident. See you in Le Mans!"
"I feel happy after my win in Jerez. Now I look forward to racing at Le Mans, a different track compared to Jerez. Usually we are affected by the weather, but it's a circuit I like and where Yamaha got some good results in the past, so I'm very confident of doing a good job there. The bike is good right now and after my first podium and win I feel good. Im not thinking about the championship, I just take it day by day, corner by corner and try to ride the best I can and enjoy every session. If we can find a good set up I think we will be fighting for the podium again. Hopefully the weather is good but in France you never know what is going to happen! Anyway I'll do my best whatever the weather will be!"
Massimo Meregalli - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
"Le Mans has always been a good track for Yamaha and we are really looking forward to going there. After this great start of the season we have good motivation and are optimistic for this weekend. We found some good solutions at the test in Jerez, so we continue to book progress. Both riders are in good form and we are excited to start, I'm confident we will be protagonists"
Tech3 duo ready for home GP at the legendary Le Mans circuit
Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro will fly the flag for the Tech3 Team at it's home race in the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France this weekend and will aim to storm to two top point scoring finishes. Round 5 of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship will occur on the famous 4.2 kilometre Le Mans Bugatti Grand Prix race circuit which is built around the world-renowned 24-hour track. The tight and twisting circuit features a straight of 674 metres as well as 5 left and 9 right corners and can accommodate up to 100,000 enthusiastic fans for the 28-lap battle on Sunday.
Britain's Bradley Smith will intend to make it five strong results on the bounce as he looks to ride to glory at the team's home track and consolidate his position of 7th in the world championship standings. Having concluded a successful post Jerez GP test last week, the 23-year-old rider will use his knowledge to battle as close to the factory riders as possible. Meanwhile, Pol Espargaro will fully intend to follow up his impressive finish of 5th place at the Jerez Grand Prix with another top result in France aboard his Yamaha YZR-M1. The Spaniard produced a sterling effort last year to qualify in 2nd position in only his 5th Grand Prix aboard a MotoGP bike and will seek to repeat this performance and fight for the leading satellite position.
"Next up for us is the awesome Le Mans race which is certainly one I look forward to, especially as it's the team's home race, plus Monster Energy sponsors this event. The track itself is quite narrow and features some tight first gear corners plus the stadium section at the end of the lap can be tricky, so we must ensure we get everything set up and ready as soon as possible for the race. The Jerez weekend was a bit of a challenging one, however I still managed to battle through to 8th and we then found the solution to our issue in the test on Monday. Therefore, I am confident of clinching a top result aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 in the 28-lap race on Sunday. Last year was quite a tough one for me at Le Mans, but I am determined to continue my strong form so far this season and as the crowd is always so ecstatic and passionate about our sport, I will do my best to give them something to cheer about!"
"I can't wait to jump on the Yamaha and get out on the track this weekend at Le Mans! I had a good result last time in Jerez where I finished in 5th which was what the team and I needed after the tricky opening rounds that we experienced. Now I fully intend to follow this result up with another strong finish at the Tech3 team's home race. Last year, I scored my first ever MotoGP front row and finished in 4th but only 0.6 away from the podium, so I'm definitely keen to hit the ground running this weekend. Now, it's one year on and I know I can be pushing for this position, if not higher, after collecting more experience in the past twelve months. I am feeling confident for this race and although the weather can sometimes be tricky at this track, I will push hard for the team and the fans, who are always brilliant at Le Mans!"
First home race for Loris Baz in MotoGP
The second European leg of the season is just around the corner for the Athinà Forward Racing. The team will be busy at the historic track of Le Mans for the French Grand Prix.
The race in La Sarthe region will be the first home race in the premier class for Loris Baz who will race in front of his fans with the aim of being the fastest Open bike. This Sunday's race will have a special taste for the Frenchman as he will race with a special livery.
Stefan Bradl will go for an all-in weekend. After the successful day of testing at Jerez he is eager to get on the track of Le Mans. The German is aiming the head of the Open pack and the point-zone.
"This will be my first home race in MotoGP. I look forward for Friday, it will be exciting to race in front of my fans and my friends. Moreover we have prepared a special livery along with a new helmet and a special suit for the race on Sunday. In Jerez we worked hard during the test trying to develop several new solutions and we can do well in Le Mans."
"We did a really good step forward with the setting and electronics in Jerez. We are eager to try these new settings in Le Mans to close the gap with the fastest Open. I cannot wait to get on track again."