Monster Energy Grand Prix de France
Le Mans MotoGP Official statistics compiled by Dr. Martin Raines
Grand Prix racing at Le Mans
- Le Mans has hosted a grand prix event on twenty eight 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 17th successive year that the Le Mans circuit has hosted a motorcycle grand prix event, starting in 2000.
- Since the introduction of the four-stroke MotoGP formula in 2002, Honda have had seven wins at Le Mans, Yamaha have had six victories and Suzuki took the other win, in 2007 with Chris Vermeulen – Suzuki’s only GP victory in the four-stroke MotoGP era.
- 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 rider with most grand prix victories at Le Mans is Jorge Lorenzo, who has stood on the top step of the podium on five occasions at the French circuit; a single win in the 250cc class to add to his four MotoGP wins.
- There have been five GP wins at the Le Mans circuit by French riders: Jean Aureal won the 125cc race in 1969, Guy Bertin the 125cc race in 1979, Patrick Fernandez the 350cc race in 1979, Mike di Meglio the 125cc race in 2008 and Louis Rossi the Moto3 race in 2012.
- In addition to Le Mans, there have been seven other circuits that have hosted the French GP (the figure in brackets is the number of times each circuit
- has hosted the French Grand Prix): Paul Ricard (13), Clermont-Ferrand (10), Nogaro (2), Reims (2), Rouen (2), Albi (1), Magny-Cours (1).
- The best result by a French rider at Le Mans in the MotoGP class is 4th by Olivier Jacque in 2003.
Valentino Rossi is ninth oldest premier-class winner
With his win at Jerez, Valentino Rossi moves above Phil Read in the following table of the oldest riders of all-time to win in the premier-class of grand prix racing. He is the second oldest rider to win in the MotoGP era, after Troy Bayliss. To become the oldest rider to win in the MotoGP era he needs to take a victory at the Aragon Grand Prix later this season or at sometime after.
- Fergus Anderson 44 years 237 days Spain/1953/Montjuich
- Jack Findlay 42 years 85 days Austria/1977/Salzburgring
- Les Graham 41 years 21 days Spain/1952/Montjuich
- Jack Ahearn 39 years 327 days Finland/1964/Imatra
- Harold Daniell 39 years 240 days IOM/1949/TT circuit
- Frantisek Stastny 38 years 247 days East Germany/1966/Sachsenring
- Nello Pagani 37 years 328 days Italy/1949/Monza
- Troy Bayliss 37 years 213 days Valencia/2006/Ricardo Tormo Circuit
- Valentino Rossi 37 years 68 days Spain/2016/Jerez
- Phil Read 36 years 235 days Czech/1975/Brno
A century of podium finishes for Jorge Lorenzo
Jorge Lorenzo’s second place finish at Jerez was the 100th time he has stood on the podium in the MotoGP class.
As shown in the following table, he is just the third rider in the 68 year history of motorcycle grand prix racing to reach the milestone of 100 premier-class podium finishes. He now has just one podium finish less than his great rival Dani Pedrosa.
Record breaking podium at Jerez
For the first time this year the three main challengers for the MotoGP world title finished together on the podium. This created a number of new records:
- The three riders finishing on the podium have won a combined total of 12 premier-class world titles – the highest number of premier-class world titles shared between three podium finishers in the 68 year history of grand prix racing.
- Between them Rossi, Lorenzo and Marquez have won a total of 18 grand prix titles across all classes. This the highest number of combined world titles for the three riders standing on the podium in the premier-class since the final race of the 1975 season at Brno when Phil Read with seven world titles won the race from Giacomo Agostini who clinched his 15th title with his second place finish.
- The three riders standing on the podium in Jerez had a record accumulated total of 227 grand prix wins across all classes. The previous record was 223 GP wins for the three riders standing on the podium at the Malaysian GP last year, won by Dani Pedrosa from Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi.
- Total number of premier-class wins for the three riders on the podium at Jerez was a new record of 154; just one more than the accumulated number of premier-class wins for podium finishers at the Malaysian GP last year.
Breakthrough win for Brad Binder
Brad Binder took his first grand prix in sensational style at the Spanish Grand Prix, starting from the last place on the grid as a penalty for a technical infringement, and riding his way through the field to win by over three seconds. This win was notable in a number of ways:
- By going from last place on the grid to win the race he replicated the feat in the lightweight-class by Marc Marquez at Estoril in 2010 when he started at the back of a 16 rider grid for the re-started nine lap race after crashing in the sighting lap, and by Noboru Ueda at the Japanese GP in 1997 when he called in the pits following the sighting lap and subsequently started from the back of the grid of the 31 rider field.
- Binder’s win was the first ever in the lightweight-class of grand prix racing for a rider from South Africa.
- Binder is the first South African rider to win a GP in any class since Jon Ekerold won the 350cc race at Monza in 1981.
- With his win at Jerez, Binder extends his lead in the world championship that he has held since finishing third in Argentina – the first South African rider to lead a grand prix championship across all classes since Jon Ekerold led the 350cc title chase after the opening two races of the 1981 season.
- He is the first non-European rider to open the season with four successive podium finishes in the Moto3/125cc class since Tomomi Manako in 1998.
Le Mans Grand Prix racing numbers
- 138 – Jorge Lorenzo’s second place finish at Jerez was the 138th time he has stood on the podium across all grand prix classes. One more top three finish and he will equal the number of podium appearances of legendary Spanish racer Angel Nieto. Only three riders have more grand prix podium finishes than Nieto and Lorenzo: Valentino Rossi (213 podium finishes), Giacomo Agostini (159) and Dani Pedrosa (142).
- 62 – Valentino Rossi’s pole position in Jerez was the 62nd of his grand prix career across all classes. This is the same number of pole positions as team-mate Jorge Lorenzo has achieved. No other rider has started from pole on more occasions that these two riders in the modern-era of grand prix racing (since 1974) when full pole position data is available.
- 29 – Jorge Lorenzo celebrates his 29th birthday two days before the practice starts for the French Grand Prix.
- 22 – Malaysian Moto2 rider Hafizh Syahrin celebrates his 22nd birthday on the day before practice starts at Le Mans.
- 11 – The twelve grand prix races that have taken place so far this year have been won by eleven different riders. Only Marc Marquez has scored more than a single GP win in 2016.
- 9 – The rider starting on pole has not won in the Moto3 class for the last nine races. The last time a rider starting a Moto3 race from pole won the race was Enea Bastianini at Misano last year.
- 9 – Of the fourteen 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 and 2015.
- 7 – The rider starting from pole position has won the last seven MotoGP races, the longest sequence of race wins from pole position in the MotoGP era.
- 5 – In both the Moto3 and Moto2 classes the last five races have been won by five different riders.
- 5 – Only five riders in the MotoGP class have scored points at all three of the opening races of the year: Marc Marquez, Pol Espargaro, Hector Barbera, Eugene Laverty and Aleix Espargaro.
- 4 – Four Swiss riders scored points in the Moto2 race in Jerez. The last time that four Swiss riders scored points in a grand prix race was in the 500cc race at the French GP in 1982 at Nogaro – a race that was boycotted by many of the top riders over safety concerns.
- 2 – Yamaha finish took the top two place in the MotoGP race at Jerez for first time since Catalunya last year.
- 1 – Valentino Rossi’s win at Jerez was the first time that he has won a race in the premier-class after starting from pole position and leading across the line on every lap of the race. On both the two previous occasions that he has led every lap of the race (at Estoril in 2004 and Jerez in 2007) he started from second place on the grid.
Moto2 stats and facts
- Sam Lowes took his first win of 2016 at the Jerez to add to his previous GP win at Austin last year. He is the first British rider to win intermediate-class GP races in successive seasons since Chas Mortimer in 1974 & 1975. Last year Lowes qualified in second place on the grid at Le Mans and just missed out on a podium, finishing fourth but just a quarter of a second behind Zarco.
- Alex Rins finished on the podium in each of his three starts at Le Mans in the Moto3 class: 3rd in 2012 and 2nd in both 2013 & 2014. His third at Le Mans in 2012 was his first grand prix podium finish, in only his fourth GP start. Last year he was on pole for the Moto2 race at Le Mans but ended up finishing 17th after crashing out of 6th place at the Dunlop Chicane on the 24th lap and re-starting.
- Johann Zarco’s third place in the Moto2 race at Le Mans last year was his first podium finish at his home grand prix.
- Le Mans is the most successful circuit for Tom Luthi, and was the only circuit at which he had two grand prix victories when racing in the 125cc class; he won at Le Mans on his way to taking the 125cc world title in 2005 and repeated the win a year later. He has also had two wins at Le Mans in the Moto2 class, in 2012 and 2015 – the only circuit he has had more than a single Moto2 victory.
- Jonas Folger finished sixth at Le Mans two years ago, after qualifying in pole position for the first time in the Moto2 class. Last year he crashed out of the race on lap ten. Folger finished 2nd in the 125cc race in his rookie grand prix season in 2009 – his first grand prix podium finish.
- Other than Tom Luthi, the only rider competing full-time in the Moto2 class who has won a GP at Le Mans is Julian Simon, who won the 125cc race at the French GP in 2009.
Moto3 stats and facts
- Brad Binder’s best result at Le Mans is 8th in 2013. Last year he had his worst qualifying result of 2015 at Le Mans starting the race from 25th place on the grid and then crashed out on the first lap at the Dunlop Chicane.
- Jorge Navarro’s only previous GP appearance at Le Mans was last year, when he qualified in second place on the grid – his first front row start. He crashed out of the race on the sixth lap at the Dunlop Chicane when at the tail of the leading group.
- Romano Fenati won the Moto3 race in France last year – his first GP podium finish at Le Mans. Fenati is the only rider currently competing in the Moto3 class who has won a grand prix race at the Le Mans circuit.
- Nicolo Bulega’s second place finish at Jerez was his first podium in grand prix racing in just his fifth start. He is the fifth youngest Italian rider to finish on the podium in GP racing, after Marco Melandri, Romano Fenati, Ivan Goi and Enea Bastianini.
- Francesco Bagnaia finished fourth in the Moto3 race at the French GP two years ago (his best result of 2014) and last year finished third – his first podium in grand prix racing.