Three different riders have led the Championship standings in the opening four race of the 2018 season: Andrea Dovizioso, Cal Crutchlow and Marc Márquez.
There have been four leader changes over the opening four races of the season, the first time this has happened since 2009 with Casey Stoner, Jorge Lorenzo, Valentino Rossi and again Jorge Lorenzo.
Marc Márquez’ win at Jerez is the fourth time he’s won in the MotoGP class after not starting from the front row. The other three wins were: Valencia (2014), Aragón (2017) and at the Americas GP this year.
Márquez’ win at Jerez was the 400th for a rider using Michelin tyres in Grand Prix racing and the 58th for a Spanish rider. The first Michelin victory was at the TT back in 1973 with Jack Findlay.
At Jerez, Andrea Iannone took back-to-back podium finishes in the premier class for the first time. This was the 33rd podium finish in his Grand Prix career, equalling Bruno Kneubühler and Gary Hocking.
This was the first run of three podium finishes in a row for Suzuki since Sachsenring, Laguna Seca and Brno in 2008 with Chris Vermeulen and Loris Capirossi, and only the third in the MotoGP era since 2002. The other one was in 2007 (Laguna Seca/Brno/Misano).
Before the French Grand Prix, Andrea Iannone sits in fourth place in the Championship, becoming the highest-placed Suzuki rider in the premier class after the opening four races of the season since Kenny Roberts Jr. led after the Spanish Grand Prix in 2000.
Neither of the two Yamaha factory riders have won at least one of the four opening races of the year. The last time that the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team did not have a win in either of the first opening races of the year was in 2014.
Only six riders have scored points in all four of the MotoGP races in 2018: Johann Zarco, Maverick Viñales, Andrea Iannone, Jack Miller, Danilo Petrucci and Tito Rabat.
On Lap 15 at Jerez, Valentino Rossi completed the 8730th lap of his Grand Prix career for a total of 40,075 km, equalling the earth’s circumference at the equator.
Jorge Lorenzo is the rider with most Grand Prix victories at Le Mans, having stood on the top step of the podium on six occasions at the French circuit; a single win in the 250cc class adds to his five MotoGP wins.
The only two of the five rookies in the MotoGP class to have previously won at Le Mans in any of the smaller classes are Tom Lüthi, who won twice in 125cc and twice in Moto2, and Franco Morbidelli, who won in Moto2 last year. The only other rookie who has been on the podium at Le Mans is Xavier Siméon in Moto2 (2013).
Franco Morbidelli finished in ninth place at Jerez, which is his best result in the premier class. He is now leading the fight for Rookie of the Year, on 13 points and four ahead of Hafizh Syahrin and Takaaki Nakagami.
Grand Prix racing at Le Mans
Le Mans has hosted a Grand Prix event on 30 previous occasions, including the Grand Prix “Vitesse du Mans” in 1991, which is the only year that two Grand Prix events have been held in France in the same year.
Le Mans was first used for a Grand Prix event in 1969, when the 500cc race was won by Giacomo Agostini, who lapped all the other riders in the race on his MV Agusta.
This is the 19th successive year that the Le Mans circuit has hosted a motorcycle Grand Prix event, starting in 2000.
In addition to Le Mans, there have been 7 other circuits that have hosted the French GP: Paul Ricard (13 times), Clermont-Ferrand (10), Nogaro (2), Reims (2), Rouen (2), Albi (1), Magny-Cours (1).
A total of 96 Grand Prix races for solo motorcycles have been held at the Le Mans circuit since 1969 as follows: MotoGP–16, 500cc–14, Moto2–8, 350cc – 2, 250cc–22, Moto3–6, 125cc–22, 80cc–1, 50cc – 5.
Since the first Grand Prix in the premier class, Honda have had 13 wins at Le Mans, the last of which were in 2014 with Marc Márquez and 2013 with Dani Pedrosa.
Yamaha have had 10 wins at Le Mans in the premier class, including the last three races with Jorge Lorenzo (2015 & 2016) and Maverick Viñales (2017), which was the 500th win for Yamaha in Grand Prix racing.
Suzuki have had 5 wins at Le Mans in the premier class, the last of which was in 2007 with Chris Vermeulen. Prior to Maverick Viñales winning at Silverstone in 2016, this was the only GP victory for Suzuki since the introduction of the MotoGP class in 2002. Viñales also finished third at Le Mans in 2016, which was the first podium for Suzuki since Loris Capirossi was third at Brno in 2008.
The best results for Ducati at the Le Mans circuit are second-place finishes for Loris Capirossi in 2006 and Valentino Rossi in 2012.
The only non-Spanish rider to win a MotoGP race at Le Mans in the past nine years is Casey Stoner in 2011.
There have been five GP wins at the Le Mans circuit by French riders: Jean Aureal (125cc – 1969), Guy Bertin (125cc – 1979), Patrick Fernandez (350cc – 1979), Mike Di Meglio (125cc – 2008) and Louis Rossi (Moto3 – 2012).
The best result for a French rider at Le Mans in the MotoGP class is second for Johann Zarco last year; the third podium finish for a French rider at Le Mans in the premier class after Raymond Roche was second in 1985 and Christian Sarron third in 1987.
Of the 16 MotoGP races held at Le Mans, nine have either started in wet conditions or rain has started during the race. The only years that the MotoGP race at Le Mans has been run under full dry conditions are: 2004, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016 and last year.
The 8 Moto2 races that have taken place at Le Mans have been won by seven different riders: Toni Elias (2010), Marc Márquez (2011), Tom Lüthi (2012 & 2015), Scott Redding (2013), Mika Kallio (2014), Alex Rins (2016) and Franco Morbidelli (2017).
None of the eight previous Moto2 races at Le Mans has been won by the rider starting from pole position.
The six Moto3 races that have taken place at Le Mans have been won by six different riders: Louis Rossi, Maverick Viñales, Jack Miller, Romano Fenati, Brad Binder and Joan Mir. Only two of them have been won by non-KTM riders: Louis Rossi (FTR Honda – 2012) and Joan Mir (Honda – 2017).
Marc Márquez closes in on Casey Stoner
Marc Márquez won for the 37th time in MotoGP on what was his 94th start in the class in Jerez, which is just one less premier class GP win than two-time MotoGP World
Champion Casey Stoner.
Marc Márquez’ win at Jerez was the 63rd in his Grand Prix career overall, just two less GP wins than Jorge Lorenzo (65) who is fifth on number of wins, behind Mike Hailwood (76), Ángel Nieto (90), Valentino Rossi (115) and Giacomo Agostini (122).
Riders with most wins in the premier class
89 – Valentino Rossi (7 premier class titles)
68 – Giacomo Agostini (8 premier class titles)
54 – Mick Doohan (5 premier class titles)
44 – Jorge Lorenzo (3 premier class titles)
38 – Casey Stoner (2 premier class titles)
37 – Mike Hailwood (4 premier class titles)
37 – Marc Márquez (4 premier class titles)
Johann Zarco ahead of his home round
At Jerez, Johann Zarco stood on the podium for the fifth time in the premier class, equalling Pierre Monneret. Only two French riders have more podium finishes in the class: Raymond Roche (9) and Christian Sarron (18).
With his second podium finish of the season at Jerez, Johann Zarco became the second French rider to stand on the podium at least twice in two or more successive years in the premier class, along with Christian Sarron.
Johann Zarco is the top Independent Team rider in the MotoGP Championship in second, and is the highest-placed Yamaha rider from an Independent Team after the opening four races of the season since the beginning of the MotoGP in 2002. Johann Zarco is the top Yamaha rider in the Championship standings for the second time this year.
Before the French Grand Prix, Johann Zarco sits in second place in the MotoGP Championship, becoming the highest-placed French rider in the premier class after
the opening four races since Raymond Roche was also second after the Austrian Grand Prix in 1984.
Johann Zarco has the highest point score (58) for a French rider after the opening four races of the season since the current scoring points system was introduced
Johann Zarco has scored points in the last 21 successive races, finished as the top Independent Team rider in nine of them and the top Yamaha rider in eight. The
last time he failed to score any points was in Qatar last year when he crashed out after leading the first six laps of the race on his MotoGP debut.
At Le Mans, Johann Zarco will be aiming to become the first French rider to win in the premier class at his home round since 1954 with Pierre Monneret at Reims, which was also the first win for a French rider in the class.
Philipp Öttl wins for the first time
At Jerez, Philipp Öttl won for the first time on what was the 91st start of his Grand Prix career, becoming the first German rider to win in the Moto3 class since Sandro Cortese in Phillip Island 2012.
Öttl’s win at Jerez was the 56th in the lightweight class for a German rider and the 191st in all solo classes of Grand Prix racing.
Philipp Öttl’s win came 21 years 345 days after his father Peter’s last win at the Italian Grand Prix in Mugello back in 1996, making them seventh on father and son wins in history, as shown in the table below:
Father Son GP wins
Graziano Rossi Valentino Rossi 118
Ángel Nieto Pablo Nieto 91
Kenny Roberts Kenny Roberts Jr. 32
Helmut Bradl Stefan Bradl 12
Leslie Graham Stuart Graham 10
Nello Pagani Alberto Pagani 7
Peter Öttl Philipp Öttl 6
Moto2 Facts and Stats
At Jerez, Lorenzo Baldassarri won his second Moto2 race, becoming only the fifth Italian rider to win at least twice since the introduction of the class back in 2010. The others are Francesco Bagnaia, Mattia Pasini, Franco Morbidelli and Andrea Iannone.
Baldassarri’s win at Jerez was the 24th for an Italian rider in Moto2 and the 224th in the intermediate category.
Since his first visit to Le Mans in 2013 in Moto3, Baldassarri has always failed to score any points. His best result across the line at the French Grand Prix is 17th two years ago.
Miguel Oliveira finished second at Jerez, which was his 12th podium in Moto2, making him the rider with the most podium finishes on the current Moto2 grid. Last year at Le Mans he failed to score points, crossing the line in 17th.
Francesco Bagnaia has scored points in the last 16 successive races. The last time he failed to score any points was in Italy last year, when he crashed on the final lap. Last year at Le Mans, Bagnaia stood on the podium for the second successive time in Moto2. He crossed the line in second from second on the grid, which is his best qualifying result so far in the class.
Bagnaia is one of five riders who have scored points in all of the four opening races of the year, along with Miguel Oliveira, Lorenzo Baldassarri, Joan Mir and Mattia Pasini.
Simone Corsi is the only other rider on the current grid to have stood on the podium at Le Mans in Moto2.
Jean-Louis Tournadre in 1982 is the last French rider to have won in the intermediate class at the French Grand Prix. That race was boycotted by top riders due to insufficient safety measures.
Jules Danilo will celebrate his 23rd birthday on the opening day of his home round at Le Mans.
Moto3 Facts and Stats
Last year at Le Mans, the Moto3 race was stopped by a red flag after a multiple-rider crash on the second lap at La Chapelle. The restarted race was for a shortened
distance of 16 laps.
Philipp Öttl’s win at Jerez makes it the first three podium finishes in a row for KTM since the final three races of the 2016 season.
Marco Bezzecchi crossed the line in second at Jerez for his fourth podium finish in Moto3, equalling Alexis Masbou and Isaac Viñales. He scored one point last year in his first race at Le Mans.
After Jerez, Bezzecchi leads the Moto3 Championship standings, becoming the first Italian rider to lead the classification in the class since Niccolò Antonelli after Qatar in 2016.
Marcos Ramírez stood on the podium for the third time in Moto3 in the Spanish GP. He finished fourth last year at Le Mans, equalling his best result at that time.
With Öttl, Bezzecchi and Ramírez, Jerez was the first time there were three KTM riders on the podium in the Moto3 class since Valencia back in 2016.
Alonso López finished fourth at Jerez, which is his best result and on what was only his fourth Grand Prix start. He also won the FIM CEV Repsol Moto3 Junior World
Championship race held at Le Mans last year.
Jorge Martín crashed out of the race at Jerez, which was the first time he failed to score points since he also crashed at San Marino last year.
Niccolò Antonelli started from pole at Le Mans in 2016. Along with Jorge Martín (2017), he is the only rider on the current grid who has started from pole position at this track. In addition, Enea Bastianini (2015) is one of the only riders, along with Arón Canet and Fabio Di Giannantonio (2017), who has been on the podium in France.
The only rider to win a Moto3 race from pole position at Le Mans is Maverick Viñales back in 2013.
At the French Grand Prix, John McPhee is scheduled to make his 100th Grand Prix start in the Moto3 class, while Jakub Kornfeil will start his 150th Grand Prix race in the lightweight category.
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