Following on from a successful and productive test last week, PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team’s MotoGP riders Franco Morbidelli and Valentino Rossi are hopeful of good fortune at the upcoming Grand Prix de France this weekend at Le Mans, after Morbidelli achieved third in the previous round.
Morbidelli will also be hoping for a less dramatic FrenchGP race start this year, after his getaway from the line was hampered by avoiding another rider’s incident in 2020. The Italian does have previous good form at Le Mans though, taking a Moto2 race win there in 2017. Franco also goes into the fifth round of the season riding the wave of success, after claiming his first podium finish of 2021 last time out and completing a fruitful one-day test in Jerez last week, which saw him able to test new parts and focus on improving the braking capability of his bike.
Team-mate Rossi was also struck by bad fortune last year in France, with rain falling just before the start of the race helping to cause a first lap crash for the Italian. Valentino does hold a brace of good results at Le Mans though, with the most recent of his 13 MotoGP/500cc podiums – of which three were victories – occurring in 2018. Like team-mate Morbidelli, Rossi was also able to enjoy a successful one-day test last week at Jerez, which saw him make improvements with the race pace and the feeling of his Yamaha YZR-M1. He will be hoping that these improvements bear fruit in France this weekend.
The FrenchGP will commence for Morbidelli and Rossi on Friday with FP1 at 9.55am local time (3.55pm MYT), and conclude at 2pm local time (8pm MYT) on Sunday with the 27-lap MotoGP race.