2019 MotoGP
Round Five – Le Mans

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) converted pole into a dominant win clear at the front overnight at Le Mans, and in doing so he took Honda’s 300th premier class victory – as well as equalling the premier class win count of teammate Jorge Lorenzo.

Behind Marquez it was a Ducati duel for the podium, with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) just able to hold off teammate Danilo Petrucci over the line. ‘DesmoDovi’ equals the podium tally of MotoGP Legend Mick Doohan across all classes, Petrucci took to the rostrum for the first time for the factory Ducati Team.

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Grid Marquez
Marc Marquez

MotoGP Race Report

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Marquez Petrucci
#FrenchGP 2019 – Marquez and Petrucci

As the lights went out in the fifth round of MotoGP Championship season 2019, poleman Marquez and second place Petrucci immediately went toe-to-toe into Turn 3, with the reigning World Champion just getting the better of the Italian as everyone made it through the tricky left-right in one piece. It was the top three on the grid who held the top three positions in the race, and Marquez started to edge out a half-second gap on the field.

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Marquez Petrucci
#FrenchGP 2019 – Marquez and Petrucci

But Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) was on the move. He forced his way past fellow GP19 rider Petrucci and immediately locked his radar on the back of Marquez’ Honda.

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Miller Marquez
#FrenchGP 2019 – Miller, Marquez

And it wasn’t long before the 0.5 gap was bridged as Miller slammed in the fastest lap of the race before chucking it up the inside of Marquez at Turn 3 on Lap 5.

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Marquez Miller
#FrenchGP 2019 – Marquez and Miller

Two laps later Marquez went to return the favour and both riders ran slightly wide; Miller getting the cutback to lead but Marquez sweeping up the inside of the Ducati…as Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) joined the fray at the front.

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Marquez Dovi Miller
#FrenchGP 2019

With Marquez back in the lead though, he began to get into a rhythm. A tenth here and a tenth there slowly stretched the gap out to half a second as the Spaniard posted the fastest lap of the race and it was hammer down for the Championship leader.

The gap to Miller and Dovizioso kept on rising and as Marquez ticked Lap 14 off, it was over a second and it soon became a race for second between the three Ducatis, with Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) not completely out of the equation but back in fifth.

With 11 to go Marquez was two seconds up the road as Dovi made his move past Miller, the Australian running wide at Turn 7 as Petrucci began to build up his speed and close down the podium places.

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Petrucci Miller
#FrenchGP 2019 – Petrucci, Miller, Rossi

A few laps later, Petrucci was past Miller and setting his sights on his team-mate. With five laps to go Petrucci struck for P2 but ran wide and the duel would continue – but Dovizioso kept on getting it back.

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Petrucci Miller Rossi
#FrenchGP 2019 – Petrucci, Miller, Rossi

Meanwhile, Marquez had built up nearly a four-second gap as he cruised round to claim his third win of the season in dominant style, equalling teammate Jorge Lorenzo’s premier class win tally (47), which is joint fourth on the list. Although no match for Marquez on the day, Dovi took an important second for 20 more points and Petrucci returned to the rostrum for the first time since Le Mans last season.

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Dovizioso Petrucci Miller Rossi
#FrenchGP 2019 – Dovizioso, Petrucci, Miller, Rossi

Marc Marquez – P1

“Of course here in Le Mans it’s always difficult with the temperature and the weather, especially today. I think this is the first time I have had a race where I had the soft tyre in the front but it was the safest option. I was focused on being consistent until I saw the gap increasing, I pushed a little bit more and into the low 32s until I saw I had two seconds. I’m happy with today’s result and it is fantastic to be able to take Honda’s 300th premier class win!”

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Marquez LHS
Marc Marquez

Andrea Dovizioso – P2

“I’m happy with my result because the conditions have been really tricky here all weekend and, nonetheless, we managed to seize second position in both the race and the championship. That said, we need to stay focused and try to make further improvements if we want to fight with Márquez until the end. I couldn’t keep his pace until the checkered flag because the rear tyre dropped a bit too much, and in the final laps I also had to fend off Danilo’s comeback. It was a good fight, and I’m not surprised by his speed, as I know him well. We scored the best possible result and the championship is still open. I can’t wait to race again in two weeks’ time at Mugello, a track we know quite well and on which we achieved important results in the recent past.”

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Dovizioso Petrucci Miller
Andrea Dovizioso

Danilo Petrucci – P3

“It was great race and I’m so happy to finally be back on the podium, exactly one year since the last time I stepped on it. In the past rounds I’ve been quite competitive, but not in qualifying, and this hindered my performance during the race. This time, we managed to start from first row but I made a couple of mistakes in the early laps and lost some ground. At one point I dropped all the way back to sixth, but I tried to stay calm and collected, pushing as hard as I could to close the gap. Towards the end, Andrea and I had a spectacular fight. He was stronger than me under acceleration, while I was able to recover some ground under braking, but I was never close enough to complete the maneuver and it also wouldn’t have made any sense to take huge risks among teammates. The double podium is a great result for the whole team, and now we’ll try to repeat that in Mugello.”

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Petrucci
Danilo Petrucci

Miller held off Rossi by a tenth to earn a solid fourth in France, ‘The Doctor’ not quite able keep tabs on the podium battle and coming home fifth. Just behind him, meanwhile, was a big contender for ride of the day: the best result of the season so far for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing and Pol Espargaro. The Spaniard had looked strong all weekend and he proved it in the race, taking an awesome sixth place and over a second ahead of the next man up, Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT).

Home hero Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) eventually crossed the line in P8, which won’t be what he wanted from the French Grand Prix but there was plenty to write about once again. Off to a bad start and dropping outside the points in the early stages, fast Fabio unleashed some searing pace to slice back through the field to only just over a second behind his teammate. Podium potential once again, the fight rolls on to Mugello.

Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) lost out to Quartararo in the latter stages, the British rider finishing ninth, with the top ten completed by Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins. A P19 start hampered the Spaniard’s French GP as he slips from second to third in the standings. Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team) earns his best Honda result in 11th, with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini), home favourite Johann Zarco (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and the two Red Bull KTM Tech 3’s of Hafizh Syahrin – the Malaysian’s first points of the season – and Miguel Oliveira completing the points. Oliveira was handed a penalty that dropped him below Syahrin in the standings, but both still scored – as did all four KTMs in a good day at the office for the Austrian factory.

Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) collided with Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales and they crashed out together on Lap 7, with Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) also crashing – riders ok. Andrea Iannone (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) and Tito Rabat (Reale Avintia Racing) retired, and there was huge drama on the warm-up lap before the race had even begun. On the brink of his 200th GP start, Karel Abraham (Reale Avintia Racing) and Team Suzuki Ecstar’s rookie Joan Mir both crashed – separately – heading into Turn 3. Mir was able to get back to the pits and get back out to join the race, but Abraham was black flagged for coming out of pit-lane after the leader had crossed the line on Lap 1.

Marquez has only an eight-point lead over Dovizioso in the Championship as we move onto the latter’s home race: Mugello. Will the tables turn there? Tune in in two weeks. Full Championship standings can be found lower down this page.

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Points
#FrenchGP 2019 – Dovizioso and Petrucci check out the Championship points

2019 MotoGP – Round Five – Le Mans

Pos. Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 M Marquez Honda 41’53.647
2 A Dovizioso Ducati 1.984
3 D Petrucci Ducati 2.142
4 J Miller Ducati 2.94
5 V Rossi Yamaha 3.053
6 P Espargaro KTM 5.935
7 F Morbidelli Yamaha 7.187
8 F Quartararo Yamaha 8.439
9 C Crutchlow Honda 9.853
10 A Rins Suzuki 13.709
11 J Lorenzo Honda 15.003
12 A Espargaro Aprilia 29.512
13 J Zarco KTM 33.061
14 H Syahrin KTM 35.481
15 M Oliveira KTM 36.044
16 J Mir Suzuki 1 Lap
Not Classified
DNF T Nakagami Honda 9 Laps
DNF A Iannone Aprilia 19 Laps
DNF M Viñales Yamaha 21 Laps
DNF F Bagnaia Ducati 21 Laps
DNF T  Rabat Ducati 25 Laps
MotoGP Rnd LeMans Podium Marquez Dovizioso Petrucci
#FrenchGP 2019
Race results:
1 – Alex Marquez (SPA – Kalex) 40’36.428
2 – Jorge Navarro (SPA – Speed Up) +1.119
3 – Augusto Fernandez (SPA – Kalex) +1.800

Moto2

It’s been a long time coming, but Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) was back on the top step at Le Mans to end a win drought stretching back to Japan 2017 – and he did it in style. Over a second clear over the line and untroubled for much of the race, it was heads and tails compared to his misfortune in Jerez. Behind the number 73, Jorge Navarro (Lightech Speed Up) duelled Augusto Fernandez (Flexbox HP 40) to decide the podium, with the Speed Up man eventually coming out on top as both once again showed some impressive form.

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Moto Alex Marquez
Alex Marquez

It was Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) who took the holeshot from second on the grid, with Marquez just about getting the better of Navarro and Xavi Vierge (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) attacking the Speed Up too. But Marquez didn’t leave it long, attacking at Turn 2 on Lap 4 and then starting to pull away – leading from that point on.

In the meantime there was big drama, however. Championship leader Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) slid out when making progress – and Mattia Pasini (Petronas Sprinta Racing) was unable to avoid his stricken compatriot. The number 07 was taken to the Medical Centre and was diagnosed with a dislocated right shoulder and concussion so he’ll have to be passed fit to race at Mugello.

Back at the front, Vierge attacked Lüthi next as Navarro tussled for fourth with Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo), and Simone Corsi (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2) was starting to look threatening behind too. From Row 6 the Italian was up into sixth and still making progress, sure enough making his way up into second and looking like the man to try and make a run at Marquez. Sadly it wasn’t to be, however, as the Italian slid out after a few laps on the chase.

That left Marquez with a sizeable gap back to Navarro and Vierge, with Fernandez up into fourth behind them – but he didn’t wait long to strike. As Marquez kept it calm and collected in the lead, the fight for second then lit up as Fernandez vs Navarro treated us to some classic racing around a classic venue. In the end though, it was Navarro who won out and was able to pull out a small gap, with Fernandez forced to settle for third.

Binder took fourth for a good haul of points, with Vierge dropping to fifth by the flag. And Lüthi, a four-time winner at Le Mans, faded back to sixth – unable to capitalise too much on the 0 scored by Baldassarri. Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) came home seventh and was top rookie once again, ahead of Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) after a more muted weekend for the German. Iker Lecuona (American Racing KTM) took a solid ninth, with second rookie Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) completing the top ten.

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Moto Podium L R Navarro Marquez Fernandez
#FrenchGP Moto2 Race results:
1 – John McPhee (GBR – Honda) 37’48.689
2 – Lorenzo Dalla Porta (ITA – Honda) +0.106
3 – Aron Canet (SPA – KTM) +0.757

In 11th, meanwhile, was one of the rides of the race. Tetsuta Nagashima (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) had a stunning Sunday as he sliced through from 31st on the grid, gaining a whopping 20 places over the 25 laps. Rookie Fabio Di Giannantonio (Lightech Speed Up) took P12, ahead of Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46). American Joe Roberts (American Racing KTM) took points for the first time this season in P14, ahead of a third consecutive points finish for the new MV Agusta chassis but this time in the hands of Stefano Manzi (MV Agusta Idealavoro Forward). There was some bad news for his teammate Dominique Aegerter, however, as the Swiss rider had to retire on the last lap as it looked like he’d run low on fuel.

Moto2

Pos. Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 A Marquez Kalex 40’36.428
2 J Navarro Speed Up 1.119
3 A Fernandez Kalex 1.800
4 B Binder KTM 6.015
5 X Vierge Kalex 7.057
6 T Luthi Kalex 9.401
7 E Bastianini Kalex 10.095
8 M Schrotter Kalex 10.475
9 I Lecuona KTM 11.246
10 N Bulega Kalex 17.112
11 T Nagashima Kalex 18.537
12 F Di Giannantonio Speed Up 19.817
13 L Marini Kalex 27.815
14 J Roberts KTM 27.888
15 S Manzi MV Agusta 49.139
16 L Tulovic KTM 50.8
17 J Dixon KTM 51.688
18 M Bezzecchi KTM 53.223
19 P Oettl KTM +1’00.859
20 J Martin KTM +1’03.717
Not Classified
DNF D Aegerter MV Agusta 1 Lap
DNF D Ekky Pratama Kalex 4 Laps
DNF X Cardelus KTM 5 Laps
DNF R Gardner Kalex 12 Laps
DNF S Odendaal NTS 13 Laps
DNF B Bendsneyder NTS 13 Laps
DNF S Corsi Kalex 16 Laps
DNF S Lowes Kalex 17 Laps
DNF S Chantra Kalex 17 Laps
DNF L Baldassarri Kalex 24 Laps
DNF M Pasini Kalex 24 Laps
Not Finished 1st Lap
DNF Andrea Locatelli Kalex 0 Lap

Moto3

John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) has taken his second Grand Prix win in the Shark Helmets Grand Prix de France, with the Scot fighting it out at the front and then able to defend the lead in the final sector to cross the line just over a tenth clear of Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing). That makes it five winners in five races so far this season, and ten different winners in a row. Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) completed the podium despite a couple of last lap wobbles, and the Spaniard extended his Championship lead.

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Moto McPhee DallaPorta
John McPhee wins ahead of Lorenzo Dalla Porta – #FrenchGP Moto3

McPhee got a good start from pole, but it was Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers) and Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) who initially launched past the Scotsman to take over at the front, with Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) behind McPhee in fourth as the pack settled, and a small gap back to Andrea Migno (Bester Capital Dubai), Canet, Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing) and Dalla Porta.

One name missing from the front early on was Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia), with the Japanese rookie unable to capitalise on his front row start as he crashed out – and caused some big drama. His bike moved back onto the track but it was safely avoided as the pack scattered, with the freight train then recouping and rolling on.

Suzuki was holding station in the lead as the laps ticked down and the Japanese rider consistently led over the line, but with only a handful of laps to go, heartbreak hit as he then suddenly slid out – and Arbolino couldn’t avoid him; the Italian also going down. That shuffled the order as the front group scattered and the second made up some big time, with race day pace man Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) first on the scene to make it a bigger scrap over the last laps. And he had company, with the battle heating up.

Two key moments decided much of the race: first, Jaume Masia (Bester Capital Dubai) was a little optimistic with an attempted move on teammate Migno and a gap opened up as they lost time, leaving Dalla Porta, McPhee, Toba and Canet at the front.

The second decisive moment came on the last lap as it was Canet’s turn to wobble. In full attack mode, the Italian overcooked it and only just stayed on – but he did head wide, and took Toba with him. That left McPhee defending from Dalla Porta for the win, and the Scotsman kept it cool to cross the line a tenth clear. His second win was also the team’s first.

Canet finished third and got a talking to from Toba on the cool down lap, with Rodrigo crossing the line fourth ahead of Migno. Toba eventually took sixth, just able to slot back in and beat impressive rookie Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) to the line by 0.041.

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Moto Podium L R Dalla Porta McPhee Canet
#FrenchGP Moto3 Results
Race results:
1 – John McPhee (GBR – Honda) 37’48.689
2 – Lorenzo Dalla Porta (ITA – Honda) +0.106
3 – Aron Canet (SPA – KTM) +0.757

After taking his first points of the year last time out in Jerez, Kazuki Masaki (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race) took his first top ten in France, two tenths ahead of Jakub Kornfeil (Redox PrüstelGP). Second rookie Raul Fernandez (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team), despite a 12-place grid penalty, completed the top ten and beat last year’s winner – teammate Albert Arenas – to the honour, with Masia classified in P12 behind Arenas after a time penalty for cutting a corner.

Makar Yurchenko (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race) took his first Grand Prix points of the year in thirteenth, ahead of Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing), with Filip Salac (Redox PrüstelGP) finishing 15th. The Czech rider was hit by faller Sergio Garcia (Estrella Galicia 0,0) on Lap 1 and ran off.

Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) was a high profile crasher, the Italian losing ground in the Championship, and Ramirez was another to go down. Previously a Le Mans winner, Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers) retired from the race.

Moto3

Pos. Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 J Mcphee Honda 37’48.689
2 L Dalla Porta Honda 0.106
3 A Canet KTM 0.757
4 G Rodrigo Honda 0.978
5 A Migno KTM 1.201
6 K Toba Honda 1.41
7 C Vietti KTM 1.451
8 K Masaki KTM 1.636
9 J Kornfeil KTM 1.848
10 R Fernandez KTM 2.049
11 A Arenas KTM 2.663
12 J Masia KTM 3.748
13 M Yurchenko KTM 11.812
14 A Sasaki Honda 11.896
15 F Salac KTM 30.511
16 C Oncu KTM 32.544
17 T Booth-Amos KTM 40.026
Not Classified
DNF D Foggia KTM 5 Laps
DNF A Lopez Honda 5 Laps
DNF T Suzuki Honda 5 Laps
DNF T Arbolino Honda 6 Laps
DNF V Perez KTM 7 Laps
DNF N Antonelli Honda 8 Laps
DNF R Fenati Honda 13 Laps
DNF M Ramirez Honda 15 Laps
DNF R Rossi Honda 16 Laps
DNF D Binder KTM 21 Laps
Not Finished 1st Lap
DNF A Ogura Honda 0 Lap
DNF S Garcia Honda 0 Lap

 

Championship Standings

MotoGP World Championship Standings

Pos. Rider Bike Points
1 Marc Marquez Honda 95
2 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 87
3 Alex Rins Suzuki 75
4 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 72
5 Danilo Petrucci Ducati 57
6 Jack Miller Ducati 42
7 Cal Crutchlow Honda 34
8 Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 34
9 Pol Espargaro KTM 31
10 Maverick Viñales Yamaha 30
11 Takaaki Nakagami Honda 29
12 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 25
13 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 22
14 Jorge Lorenzo Honda 16
15 Johann Zarco KTM 10
16 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 9
17 Joan Mir Suzuki 8
18 Miguel Oliveira KTM 8
19 Stefan Bradl Honda 6
20 Andrea Iannone Aprilia 6
21 Hafizh Syahrin KTM 2
22 Tito Rabat Ducati 2
23 Karel Abraham Ducati 0
24 Bradley Smith Aprilia 0

Moto2 World Championship Standings

Pos. Rider Bike Points
1 Lorenzo Baldassarri Kalex 75
2 Thomas Luthi Kalex 68
3 Jorge Navarro Speed Up 64
4 Alex Marquez Kalex 61
5 Marcel Schrotter Kalex 56
6 Augusto Fernandez Kalex 43
7 Remy Gardner Kalex 38
8 Brad Binder KTM 38
9 Luca Marini Kalex 38
10 Enea Bastianini Kalex 35
11 Xavi Vierge Kalex 27
12 Iker Lecuona KTM 26
13 Tetsuta Nagashima Kalex 22
14 Sam Lowes Kalex 19
15 Andrea Locatelli Kalex 16
16 Mattia Pasini Kalex 13
17 Nicolo Bulega Kalex 13
18 Fabio Di Giannantonio Speed Up 13
19 Simone Corsi Kalex 8
20 Somkiat Chantra Kalex 6
21 Bo Bendsneyder NTS 5
22 Dominique Aegerter MV Agusta 5
23 Khairul Idham Pawi Kalex 3
24 Jesko Raffin NTS 3
25 Joe Roberts KTM 2
26 Jorge Martin KTM 2
27 Stefano Manzi MV Agusta 1
28 Lukas Tulovic KTM 0
29 Marco Bezzecchi KTM 0
30 Jake Dixon KTM 0
31 Philipp Oettl KTM 0
32 Steven Odendaal NTS 0
33 Xavi Cardelus KTM 0
34 Gabriele Ruiu MV Agusta 0
35 Dimas Ekky Pratama Kalex 0

Moto3 World Championship Standings

Pos. Rider Bike Points
1 Aron Canet KTM 74
2 Lorenzo Dalla Porta Honda 60
3 Niccolò Antonelli Honda 57
4 Kaito Toba Honda 51
5 Jaume Masia KTM 49
6 Celestino Vietti KTM 45
7 Andrea Migno KTM 40
8 Gabriel Rodrigo Honda 37
9 John Mcphee Honda 34
10 Darryn Binder KTM 26
11 Tony Arbolino Honda 26
12 Albert Arenas KTM 26
13 Raul Fernandez KTM 25
14 Marcos Ramirez Honda 24
15 Tatsuki Suzuki Honda 23
16 Jakub Kornfeil KTM 22
17 Ai Ogura Honda 17
18 Ayumu Sasaki Honda 14
19 Dennis Foggia KTM 14
20 Alonso Lopez Honda 14
21 Kazuki Masaki KTM 11
22 Romano Fenati Honda 7
23 Makar Yurchenko KTM 3
24 Filip Salac KTM 1
25 Can Oncu KTM 0
26 Vicente Perez KTM 0
27 Tom Booth-Amos KTM 0
28 Sergio Garcia Honda 0
29 Stefano Nepa KTM 0
30 Aleix Viu KTM 0
31 Ryusei Yamanaka Honda 0
32 Riccardo Rossi Honda 0
33 Meikon Kawakami KTM 0
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