2019 MotoGP
Round Five – Le Mans

MotoGP Rider and Team Manager Quotes


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 Start
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 Marquez Petrucci
#FrenchGP 2019 – Marquez and Petrucci

Jack Miller – P4

“I had a great time. The feeling with the bike was very good. Maybe I pushed too hard to try to stay ahead of Marquez. I have to admit that it was a good duel. We have to take a step forward.”

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

Valentino Rossi – P5

“I was hoping to be able to get on the podium today. Still, it was a positive weekend, better than in Jerez. We started the race well and the pace was good. In fact, I arrived at the finish very closely behind our main rivals. Unfortunately, we lost out on acceleration, and because of that it was very difficult to stay with the front-runners, out of the corners they’re very fast. But during the weekend we worked well, and our bike was fast. In the parts where you have to really ride hard, I was strong. At the end of the race I felt better, and I managed to stay together with Dovi, Petrucci, and Miller. I was hoping to overtake Miller, but I needed to be a bit faster to attack. Now, we immediately start thinking about Mugello. Let’s see if we can be a bit more competitive there.”

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Rossi Grid
Valentino Rossi

Pol Espargaro – P6

“Simply a stunning result and almost unbelievable after less than two and a half years. We are showing that we are on the way. I am so proud of this project. We are there because we were fifth, and we were there during the whole race. The competition is so high here with the best riders in the world and we are just five seconds from the winner and that factory. It is amazing and for sure gives us wings to keep working and be better in the next races to keep fighting for the top ten. I had so much fun today and was on the limit from start to the end and it was amazing to see we were catching Vale in some places and Petrucci needed to hit me to overtake me. This makes me feel really proud.”

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Pol Espargaro
Pol Espargaro

Franco Morbidelli – P7

“It was a good race. I was watching the top riders up close but couldn’t catch up to them. In any case, we got a great result. This was the race in which I have had the best feeling so far, and this means that we are moving forward. We need to continue working in the same way and keep improving. The objective is to continue taking points at every race. We have had a good weekend in dry, wet and mixed conditions. I’m very happy; it’s a good way to head into my home GP.”

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Morbidelli Crutchlow Lorenzo
Franco Morbidelli

Fabio Quartararo – P8

“It’s a shame about the beginning of the race. My start was bad and it was difficult to overtake because there were six riders within a second of each other. It was very tough, but in the end we had very good pace. It’s good for our confidence that we had top five pace and a top five finish could have been possible. Today’s goal was the same as always, finishing in the top eight, and we acheived that. I’ve learned a lot about tyre management today and I can’t wait to get to Mugello and put into practice what I have learnt as it’s one of the most difficult circuits to master. We will do the best we can and we will continue working like we have in the opening races. I’m happy with the work we have done here and I hope to continue in the same way at Mugello.”

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Quartararo
Fabio Quartararo

Cal Crutchlow – P9

“A disappointing day in terms of the result, I didn’t come here to finish ninth this weekend. So I’m disappointed in terms of where I finished, but the positive we have to take is that we got some more valuable data on the bike. Overall, I didn’t feel comfortable with the setting of the bike and the feeling I had with the bike and the tyres this afternoon, so we need to improve and work on that. We qualified in 15th and that always makes it difficult, but I got a good start and was ninth on the first lap and then finished ninth in the race. I wanted to reduce the gap to the leaders a little bit, but that was not possible today, so we’ll try again in Mugello. Congratulations to HRC for the incredible success of the 300 victories: I am proud to be part of it!”

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Morbidelli Crutchlow
Cal Crutchlow #35

Alex Rins – P10

“It was a difficult weekend, qualifying went badly with the strategy and everything. Honestly, I was hoping for more out of this weekend. I started today’s race feeling very hopeful but in the end I had to manage some struggles, especially in corner entry and I could only manage 10th place. Those six points are important, especially as it was easy to crash today – we saw many crashes in all three races. There are still a lot of rounds to go, I’m ready for Mugello.”

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Vinales Rins
Alex Rins

Jorge Lorenzo – P11

“Eleventh place is not where we want to be but I saw progress. This makes me happy and gives me even more enthusiasm for the next races. It was the first weekend I finished a day in the top five, qualified in the top eight and you know, apart from Qatar where it was a slow race, this is the race where I finished closest to the winner. We’re learning more each weekend and race, it is just a matter of time. Thanks to the Repsol Honda Team for continuing to work hard and congratulations to Honda for 300 wins.”

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Quartararo Lorenzo
Jorge Lorenzo

Aleix Espargaro – P12

“Taking points home is always positive, but I cannot be satisfied. I was unable to follow the leaders, especially because of the lack of grip that is so important on a track with these characteristics. There was really only one possible tyre choice with these low temperatures. In fact, we were all in the same conditions. Now we need to work hard to make progress. Our rivals have improved and it is getting harder and harder to finish in the top ten.”

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Espargaro Iannone Aprilia MotoGP
Aleix Espargaro #41

Johann Zarco – P13

“A tough race today. I had a good start and was controlling the bike well but lap-after-lap I was the end of my power because I still don’t have the optimum feeling. I’m happy with 13th position because it is still some points. Overall the weekend had a few good things and I will keep this in mind for the next race. I wanted to be in the top ten and I was close at the beginning of the race but I could not follow the pace. It was a shame. Pol did fantastically this weekend and that is great for KTM and for him. I still need to work because he proved that this can take you somewhere. We need time and I said that at the beginning of the season. I felt the quality of the bike this weekend and we have things to work on, so we leave France with a little bit of a smile.”

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Zarco
Johann Zarco

Hafizh Syahrin – P14

“I enjoyed the race. In the beginning it was a bit difficult to find the speed but lap-by-lap I found a rhythm and I tried to fight with Miguel and stay close to him. Finally, he made a mistake and I ended up being 14th. These two points have a huge meaning for me and I want to dedicate them to my family and everybody around me but especially the French fans because they always appreciate all of us riders. It’s the home GP for the team and I never give up. I also want to thank my team because they always trusted in me and also never gave up to help me, to improve my bike, my riding style with the new machine.”

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Hafizh Syahrin
Hafizh Syahrin

Miguel Oliveira – P15

“It has been a hard race today. All weekend we didn’t have so much dry time, so obviously the setting was not perfect. Anyway, we managed to make some progress I was able to go a little bit faster than this morning. I struggled in the race with a couple of things, but in general I would say, the result was a bit better than Jerez, which for me is the only positive today. I’m quite upset with my penalty. Anyway, we move on to the next round now.”

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Miguel Oliveira Crutchlow
Miguel Oliveira

Joan Mir – P16

“What happened on the warm-up lap was a shame. I think the tyre was cold, I didn’t brake too hard or too early, but I lost the front. I crashed four times this weekend and we have to look into why that happened. I don’t feel that I over-pushed at any time, but when I can figure out why I crashed I can hopefully learn something from it. I’ll look forward to the Italian GP which is coming next.”

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Joan Mir
Joan Mir

Takaaki Nakagami – DNF

“Of course, I’m really disappointed and first of all I want to say sorry to the team because they did a really great job all weekend. I’m upset that the weekend ended like this, but fortunately I’m okay, it was quite a nasty crash. The race was a bit of a struggle from the beginning, we knew that we didn’t have really good pace, but I tried to do my best and was pushing very hard, although the data didn’t show too many mistakes. Sometimes it just happens, but of course I’m disappointed (to crash) and I’ll just try to stay positive. The next race is in Mugello and it’s the home race for the team so hopefully we’ll have a good weekend there. I really like the layout at Mugello, it’s high-speed and a good circuit for my riding style and I can’t wait to ride there with the new bikes.”

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Nakagami Rins
Takaaki Nakagami

Andrea Iannone – DNF

“Unfortunately, I was unable to finish the race today. The pain in my ankle just got to be too much. The situation got worse day by day and, also thinking of the next race in Mugello, we decided to contain the damage. We will continue working on recovery now, trying to rest the ankle and changing the training programme in order to still stay fit. I have always achieved good results at Mugello in my career, so I want to be at 100% when we get there.”

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Andrea Iannone
Andrea Iannone

Maverick Vinales – DNF

“Honestly, I couldn’t do anything. I was trying to overtake Aleix at that moment. I think it’s important for us to understand the mistakes we made this weekend, which is mainly on the Saturday with the qualifying strategy. When you start from eleventh on the grid, these types of race incidents are something you’re exposed to. So, we need to keep working to understand what we can improve. It started out as a perfect weekend and we ended it with zero points, so we have to learn from it. I’m sure I could have gone up many places in the race, because I was getting into the rhythm, and even the podium wasn’t too far, just 2s. I think I would have been able to push and close the gap, but when you start from more towards the back it’s always difficult. We need to pay attention during the qualifying, because it’s very important to be on the first or second row and make sure we don’t make the same mistake at the next races.”

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Vinales Quartararo
Maverick Vinales

Francesco Bagnaia – DNF

“The pace was very good and I am satisfied. I was convinced that I could fight for the Top 10. Unfortunately I found myself with Maverick who suddenly slowed down and I couldn’t avoid the impact. I am still confident because we are improving.”

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Bagnaia Vinales
Francesco Bagnaia

Tito Rabat – DNF

”A pity weekend because they have been mixed conditions. We continue to suffer from rear tyre. Although I could not finish the Warm Up neither the race I felt good with the rear wheel. Every time I go feeling better, I’m getting feeling well with the rear wheel and the problems go past so this is a good sign. I´m very frustrated”

Karel Abraham – Excluded

”The weekend was pretty good. We were happy to make a good qualifying and I felt very confident before the race to fight to enter the points zone. I think we could have done it but on the warm-up lap I went straight and I fell. I think that behind me Joan Mir also went to the ground. It has been all very strange. Now my back and head hurts because of the fall. I’m disappointed, really upset because I knew we could get a couple of points in this race instead we go with a big zero again. We can not do anything until the next appointment in Mugello ”


Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha MotoGP Team Director

“The weather was a big question mark this weekend, and in the end the race was dry. Either way, we knew we had a tough race ahead of us. Vale had a good start, but had difficulty staying with the front group in middle of the race. Still, he pushed as much as he could and was very close to securing a place on the podium, because his pace at the end of the race was good. We had hoped for a better result for him, but we’ll take these 11 championship points today, considering how much he struggled in the dry on Friday. Maverick was unlucky to be taken out of the race by a fellow rider, but unfortunately these things happen in the busy mid-pack of the rider field. It’s a big shame, because Mack felt like he could’ve pushed towards the front, but in the end it’s like this. We have to learn from it and do better at the next round, our home GP in Italy.”

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Rossi Grid
Valentino Rossi

Mike Leitner – Red Bull KTM Team Manager

“To fight in the top ten – for sixth place – and be only six seconds behind the race winner in dry conditions and no excuses: you can only be proud. We’re proud of Pol for how he made that result but also for all the people who have worked so hard on this project. We are still at the beginning of season-three but over the winter the comments from all our riders and test riders meant some ideas that took time to find technical answers and after Jerez we had some, and it was an achievement. We felt we had good performance and Friday here was amazing. Things did not work out as expected for qualifying but Pol did a great job and so did everyone around him and us. We’re still not happy that Johann cannot perform like Pol but I think we started to do the right things with him here and this was the first time where he said he felt comfortable and the lap-time was coming. Now we have to work hard to put that into a dry setting and to ‘make’ the bike more for him. He is more motivated and I think Jean-Michel Bayle helps him a lot. For the first time in history we have all KTMs in the championship points and I’m happy that Hafizh made it and Miguel did it again. It was a very good day and we’ll go to Mugello to try and beat it.”

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Pol Espargaro
Pol Espargaro

Hervé Poncharal – Red Bull KTM Tech3 Team Manager

“Altogether it was a very positive weekend in France for the Red Bull KTM Tech3 team. We have gathered a lot of very important information. Thanks to the weather we could ride on the wet for the very first time, which was good and we could see that both of our riders were quite competitive. So, this is something we’ve done now and we can look into the future in a more optimistic way – in terms of weather. The race was quite strong. We didn’t gain too many positions at the start, but we kept a very decent rhythm. We were right behind Johann (Zarco) and I think the three KTM of Johann, Miguel and Hafizh did very similar times lap after lap after lap, which were quite interesting. In the end, I’m really glad for Hafizh, who was right behind Miguel very long and thanks to a penalty for Miguel, that he caught by going through a chicane, Hafizh managed to catch two points. I think this is very important for him to be with Miguel and Johann the whole race and he scored his very first points of the season. We know how important it is not to finish last and to be close to the guys you are fighting with. So, we are happy for Hafizh. Miguel did a strong weekend. As usual, we are very happy with what he did as well. One has to finish in front of the other, Miguel crossed the line in front of Hafizh, but due to the penalty Hafizh was in front of him eventually. At the end of the day, they are good teammates, they are good guys and the most important is; we’ve been competitive all through the weekend, much, much better than the previous round in Spain. KTM could be pleased, I think, because this is the best result from Pol (Espargaro) in a dry race and this is also the first time of the year, where we have the four guys inside the points. So, it’s is a good weekend for Red Bull KTM Tech3, but also for KTM. I’d like to thank them one more time. We have more work to do, more catch-up to do, but we are a happy team tonight. We worked hard and this is the way we do, what we have to do, which is growing, improving and bringing KTM closer to the top guys, which will happen soon. So, thanks to everyone for the hard work, thanks to the two riders and their dedication in this project. Have a few days off and see you in Mugello!”

Razlan Razali – Petronas Yamaha SRT Team Principal

“The best aspect about the weekend was the Moto3 victory for John McPhee. We have been waiting for this win since 2015, and we finally got it this weekend. I’m very happy for the team – and of course for John. We signed him this winter because we knew he could bring us these victories. I hope he can keep this momentum going at the coming rounds. Ayumu Sasaki needs to review and analyse the race as there is potential for him to do better at Mugello than he achieved this weekend. Mattia Pasini had a good pace in Moto2, but unfortunately he encountered a crash right in front of him, couldn’t avoid it and fell. The most important thing is that he was unhurt. Of course, he can’t wait for his home GP at Mugello. I am very happy that both of our MotoGP riders finished in the top ten. Had Fabio made a better start, he could have fought at the front as his pace was very strong. We can see there is clear podium potential for both him and Franco, we just need to keep improving together to achieve this.”

Wilco Zeelenberg – Petronas Yamaha SRT Team Manager

“I am very happy with today’s final positions. Franco had a stable and consistent race, finishing seventh, and that’s good when taking into account his rivals and the circumstances from yesterday. Fabio can be happy but disapointed at the same time. He set the fastest lap and the problem was his starting position and opening laps. He struggled to overtake other riders. Overall, finishing seventh and eighth is good and I’m happy with the results.”

Ken Kawauchi – Suzuki Technical Manager

“This weekend has been hard for both Suzuki riders. Alex worked well to recover positions from a bad grid spot, and he took 10th. Joan was unlucky on the warm-up lap and it was a troublesome weekend for him. We struggled here a lot and now we need to look into why that was and try to make some improvements for the next race.”

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Alex Rins Grid
Alex Rins

Davide Brivio – Suzuki Team Manager

“It’s been a difficult weekend, but we managed to take some decent points away from it, and this has allowed us to stay in the top three in the championship. Joan had a tough day, he had to start from pit lane after he crashed following another rider, so of course his race was compromised. However, he still gained experience today. Sometimes race weekends don’t go as you hope, and that’s normal. We’re glad that Alex was able to take tenth place and we’ll keep up our positivity heading into the next race.”

Piero Taramasso – Michelin

“This has been a weekend of very differing conditions and one that has been tricky for all concerned, On Friday we had some good weather and the slicks performed very well with some impressive lap-times, but that all changed on Saturday as the rain arrived. This did give us the first real opportunity of some wet weather evaluation this season and again the rain tyres performed extremely well – I was especially pleased to see the four rookies adapt to them so quickly. Today’s race was very cold and some riders – including Marc – had very little track time with the soft slick tyres here this weekend, but with the conditions as they were, it was the best decision for the majority to run with a soft front and rear. The race was very interesting and the compounds performed really well, with consistent and fast lap-times and they also gave good stability and durability around this stop-and-go layout. We are pleased with how all the tyres worked this weekend, we would always prefer consistent conditions, but when it is like this it just confirms that we have rubber to match all situations.”


Pos.RiderBikeTime/Gap
1M MarquezHonda41’53.647
2A DoviziosoDucati1.984
3D PetrucciDucati2.142
4J MillerDucati2.94
5V RossiYamaha3.053
6P EspargaroKTM5.935
7F MorbidelliYamaha7.187
8F QuartararoYamaha8.439
9C CrutchlowHonda9.853
10A RinsSuzuki13.709
11J LorenzoHonda15.003
12A EspargaroAprilia29.512
13J ZarcoKTM33.061
14H SyahrinKTM35.481
15M OliveiraKTM36.044
16J MirSuzuki1 Lap
Not Classified
DNFT NakagamiHonda9 Laps
DNFA IannoneAprilia19 Laps
DNFM ViñalesYamaha21 Laps
DNFF BagnaiaDucati21 Laps
DNFT  RabatDucati25 Laps

 

 

 

 

MotoGP World Championship Standings

Pos.RiderBikePoints
1Marc MarquezHonda95
2Andrea DoviziosoDucati87
3Alex RinsSuzuki75
4Valentino RossiYamaha72
5Danilo PetrucciDucati57
6Jack MillerDucati42
7Cal CrutchlowHonda34
8Franco MorbidelliYamaha34
9Pol EspargaroKTM31
10Maverick ViñalesYamaha30
11Takaaki NakagamiHonda29
12Fabio QuartararoYamaha25
13Aleix EspargaroAprilia22
14Jorge LorenzoHonda16
15Johann ZarcoKTM10
16Francesco BagnaiaDucati9
17Joan MirSuzuki8
18Miguel OliveiraKTM8
19Stefan BradlHonda6
20Andrea IannoneAprilia6
21Hafizh SyahrinKTM2
22Tito RabatDucati2
23Karel AbrahamDucati0
24Bradley SmithAprilia0
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