Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Focus on French Grand Prix
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP teammates Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi are eager to get aboard their YZR-M1s again for the fifth round of the MotoGP championship after a superb weekend in Jerez a fortnight ago, which ended with the first Yamaha 1-2 of the season. The results of the last race and the successive test gave both riders an extra confidence boost ahead of the forthcoming Monster Energy Grand Prix de France to be held this weekend.
After a strong performance at the previous round, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi are keen to put on a show again this weekend at the Le Mans Bugatti Grand Prix race circuit.
The combination of Lorenzo and his Yamaha visited the French podium multiple times. He has secured four premier class wins in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2015 and scored a second place in 2008.
Having showed a very fast and consistent pace aboard his YZR-M1 during the Jerez test last week, the Mallorcan, who celebrates his 29th birthday today, is eager to challenge for a top result again this weekend as he aims to climb up the championship ranking order from his current second place.
Having claimed his first victory of the season in Jerez, teammate Rossi is excited to start the fifth round of the championship and add another good result to his already extensive list of podium finishes at the Le Mans Bugatti circuit.=
Traditionally, The Doctor scores good results at the French GP. Throughout his premier class career he has collected three victories at Le Mans in 2002, 2005 and 2008, five second places in 2003, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2015 and three third places in 2000, 2001 and 2011. The Italian currently holds third place in the championship standings.
The Le Mans Bugatti Grand Prix race circuit was built in 1965 and forms part of the famous 24H Motos track, just a few kilometres from the city of Le Mans. MotoGP made its first visit to the iconic French track in the late sixties and it remained a fixed feature until 1996. After the track underwent safety moderations it was added back on the calendar in 2000, yet the changes have not affected the visitors' experience. With an emphasis on late braking, hard acceleration and rear end traction, this circuit is the scene of a lot of racing action that more than 100,000 spectators can enjoy.
Massimo Meregalli - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
"After a great weekend in Jerez, we are feeling energised as we head to Le Mans. This has been a good track for us in the past and we are looking forward to going there and getting back into action. We will start the first free practice session with the intention to continue the momentum we built at the previous round and we will carry through the same hands-on approach throughout the weekend. The French GP can be unpredictable in terms of weather, but I am confident we will be able to find a solution for whatever the circumstances will be."
Championship: 2nd, 65 points
"Jerez was a good race, not perfect because of the result, but at least we could add one more podium to our tally. This season it's going to be crucial to keep scoring the maximum number of points every race, like we did in Jerez, so we can now focus on Le Mans, where we intend to do the same. France is often tricky because of the weather, so we need to be prepared in case it rains. Anyway my target is to try to get another podium and be a constant at the front, though it's still uncertain how we will be able to manage with the new tyres. Every race is different but we need to be focused the whole weekend and try to get the maximum from our package."
Championship: 3rd, 58 points
"Le Mans is a track where the YZR-M1 usually goes very well. The negative thing about Le Mans is the weather, it is always very uncertain. It can rain, it is often cold and so there are many factors that you must be careful of. Last year I had a good race but I was not able to beat Jorge, I'll try again this year. First we will start the weekend in the same way as we did in Jerez. There we found a good set-up on Friday and this has helped us to be competitive in the race. We will do our best also in Le Mans."
Espargaro and Smith fired up for Tech3 home GP at Le Mans
The Tech3 duo keenly await the forthcoming Monster Energy Grand Prix de France at the legendary Le Mans circuit with both riders fully confident of clinching two strong finishes at the team's home round.
Pol Espargaro will once again be targeting to finish as close as possible to the factory MotoGP riders as he intends to seal the leading satellite placement in the race for the third time this year. The Spaniard, who currently sits in 5th in the Championship standings, undertook a successful test after the Spanish GP and he now intends to use the findings to aid his fight to snatch a notable result.
Whilst Bradley Smith aims to turn around his tricky season so far and battle with his teammate for the top independent position aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1. After making progress at the Jerez test, the 25-year-old British will be gunning to repeat his strong performance in last year's race at Le Mans, where he seized 6th.
Championship: 5th, 36 points
"Next up is Le Mans and I am looking forward to doing my best there plus making the team proud at their home Grand Prix. The circuit is one of the most famous in the world and I do enjoy riding it every year. I have some fond memories such as finishing in 4th in my rookie season with the Tech3 team after qualifying in 2nd. Of course, I'm not under any illusion that it will be easy to achieve this result again as the competition level has risen this year, yet I will give it everything I've got. After the Spanish GP, we had a useful test where we made some positive steps forwards with regards to the suspension and the setup. Therefore, I'm excited to see what we can achieve with these changes in France as I feel that we made some valuable discoveries in Jerez. The weather is always a tricky factor in Le Mans because we have often had rain in the past but I hope that the skies stay clear for this weekend! In any case, I am excited and ready to get the show going in France."
Championship: 12th, 20 points
"Although this season has been quite challenging for me, I am determined to turn things around in Le Mans, especially as it's the Tech3 team's home race, plus the Grand Prix is sponsored by Monster Energy who are the team's title backers. Le Mans is always interesting and the weather there is similar to what we get in England so we all have to be prepared for rain, even if I am keeping my fingers crossed for a dry weekend. However, despite the fact whether it's wet or not, I am going to do my absolute best and hopefully, we get the bike set up well on the opening day in order to be in a good position to fight for the top independent placement on Sunday. This is what I'll be aiming for but we will have to work hard to be able to get there. Anyway, we ran well at Le Mans last year and we made some progress at the test in Jerez so we will see what happens. Yet, I am keen to get going and give the Tech3 fans something to cheer about."