MotoGP 2015 Statistics – Le Mans – French Grand Prix
Statistics compiled by Dr. Martin Raines
Grand Prix racing at Le Mans
The Le Mans circuit has one of the longest traditions of grand prix racing on the current MotoGP schedule. Below are some facts and figures about grand prix racing at Le Mans:
- Le Mans has hosted a grand prix event on twenty seven 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 sixteenth successive year that the Le Mans circuit has been used for the MotoGP, 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 five 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 riders with the most victories at Le Mans are Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa, who have each stood on the top step of the podium on four occasions at the French circuit. Lorenzo has had a single win in the 250cc class to add to his three MotoGP wins, Pedrosa has won at Le Mans once in the 125cc class, twice in 250cc and in 2013 he won for the first time in the MotoGP class.
- 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. The last French rider to score points in the MotoGP class at Le Mans is Randy de Puniet with a 7th place finish in 2010.
Jorge Lorenzo up to 5th in all-time GP winners list
With his win at Jerez, Jorge Lorenzo moves above Mick Doohan into fifth place in the all-time grand prix winner’s list, as shown below:
RIDERS WITH MOST GRAND PRIX VICTORIES (ALL SOLO CLASSES)
Great start to the year for French riders
The French riders have had a great start to the 2015 campaign, and a number of records and milestones have already been achieved in the opening four races of the year:
- At the opening race of the year in Qatar, Alexis Masbou qualified on pole for the first time in his grand prix career, in what was his 141st grand prix start. Alexis Masbou won the race at Qatar to become the first French rider since Arnaud Vincent in 2002 to win at the opening grand prix event of the year.
- Fabio Quartararo’s second place finish at the Grand Prix of the Americas made him, at the age of 15 years 357 days the youngest French rider ever to stand on a grand prix podium in the 67-year history of motorcycle grand prix racing, taking the record from Mike di Meglio.
- Zarco’s win in Argentina was his second GP victory; his other was in the 125cc class at Motegi in 2011. He is the first French rider to win grand prix in both the lightweight-class (Moto3/125cc) and the intermediate-class (Moto2/250cc) of grand prix racing.
- Zarco is only the second French rider to win a grand prix in the Moto2 class, the other being Jules Cluzel, who won at Silverstone in 2010.
- Following his win in Argentina, Zarco was the first French rider to top the intermediate-class championship standings since Randy de Puniet led the 250cc table following the Dutch TT in 2004.
- This is the first year that French riders have taken wins in two different classes in the same season since 2005, when Randy de Puniet won a race in the 250cc class and Mike di Meglio in the 125cc class.
- At the Spanish grand prix Fabio Quartararo started from pole for the first time, in only his fourth grand prix appearance. At the age of 16 years 13 days he is the second youngest rider of all-time to start a grand prix race from pole position, after Marco Melandri who started the 125cc race at the Sachsenring from pole in 1998 at the age of 15 years 346 days.
- Zarco finished second at Jerez to become the first French rider to finish on the podium at three successive intermediate-class GP races since Randy de Puniet in 2004.
- Following the second place finish in Spain, Zarco heads the championship table by sixteen points, and is the first French rider to arrive at his home grand prix leading the championship standings in any class since Randy de Puniet had an eight point lead in the 250cc championship standings from Roberto Rolfo heading to Le Mans in 2004
Danny Kent continues to re-write the record books
Danny Kent continued his great start to 2015 with victory at Jerez, and with it continues to enter his name in the record books with respect to achievements by British riders:
Kent is the first British rider in any of the grand prix classes to win three successive races since Barry Sheene in the 500cc class in 1977.
He is the first British rider to win three or more successive races in the lightweight-class (Moto3/125cc) of grand prix racing since Dave Simmonds won seven successive 125cc GP races in 1969. Simmonds won the world title in 1969 riding a Kawasaki and is the last British rider to take the championship in the lightweight-class.
The win at Jerez was the fifth win of his career, making him the most successful British rider in terms of grand prix victories since Barry Sheene.
Kent is the first British rider in any class to finish on the podium at the opening four races of the year since Phil Read started the 1975 season with four successive top three finishes in the 500cc class.
Grand Prix racing numbers
200 – With his third place finish at Jerez, Valentino Rossi became the first rider in the 67 years of motorcycle grand prix racing to reach the milestone of 200 GP podium finishes.
100 – Luis Salom is scheduled to make his 100th grand prix start at the French Grand Prix. Salom made his grand prix debut in the 125cc class at Jerez in 2009 and the breakdown of his GP starts arriving at Le Mans are: 43 x 125cc, 34 x Moto3, 22 x Moto2.
89 – The win by Jorge Lorenzo at Jerez was the 89th victory in the MotoGP class by Spanish riders since MotoGP became the premier-class of grand prix racing in 2002. This is exactly the same number of wins that Italian riders have achieved in the MotoGP class over the same period.
32 – The second place finish by Marc Marquez at Jerez was the 32nd time he has stood on the podium in the MotoGP class, the same number of premier-class GP podium finishes as both Geoff Duke and Alex Barros.
9 – Of the thirteen 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 and 2014.
5 – At the Spanish Grand Prix Jorge Lorenzo achieved the full set of pole position, race win and fastest lap for the fifth time in the MotoGP class. The other occasions when he has achieved this are: Estoril 2008 & 2010, Silverstone 2010 and Motegi 2013.
5 – Only five riders have scored points in all of the opening four Moto2 races of the year: Johann Zarco, Tom Luthi, Franco Morbidelli, Hafizh Syahrin and Alex Marquez.
4 – Valentino Rossi has finished in the top three at each of the opening four races of the year; the first time he has opened the season with four successive podiums since 2005.
4 – British riders have taken four wins from the first four grand prix events of the year; this is the greatest number of wins for Britain in a single season since 1977, when British riders had a total of eight wins (six for Barry Sheene in the 500cc class and two for Mick Grant in the 250cc).
Moto2 stats and facts
- Johann Zarco’s best results at his home grand prix are two fifth place finishes; in the 125cc race in 2011 and the Moto2 race in 2013. Last year Zarco retired from the Moto2 race at Le Mans with technical problems after just three laps.
- Tito Rabat finished third last year at Le Mans on his way to taking the Moto2 world title – his first podium finish at the Le Mans circuit.
- Jonas Folger finished sixth last year at Le Mans after qualifying in pole position, which is his only pole in the Moto2 class. Folger finished 2nd in the 125cc race in his rookie grand prix season in 2009 – his first grand prix podium finish.
- Alex Rins has finished on the podium in each of his three starts at Le Mans in the Moto3 class: 3rd in 2012 and 2nd for the last two years. His third at Le Mans in 2012 was his first grand prix podium finish, in only his fourth GP start.
- 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 also won the Moto2 race at Le Mans three years ago – his only victory of 2012. On the first day of practice at the French GP it will be exactly ten years ago that Luthi took his first GP win at Le Mans in 2005.
- Mika Kallio has finished on the podium for the last two years at Le Mans; he finished second behind teammate Scott Redding two years ago, and last year he won for the first time at Le Mans.
- Simone Corsi finished second last year at Le Mans – his best result of 2014. He also finished on the podium at Le Mans in the first year of the Moto2 class in 2010, behind Toni Elias and Julian Simon.
- Julian Simon won the 125cc French GP at Le Mans in 2009 and finished second in the first Moto2 race held at Le Mans in 2010. Louis Rossi won the Moto3 race at the French GP in 2012 – his only grand prix win so far.
Moto3 stats and facts
- None of the riders on the Moto3 grid have won in any World Championship class at Le Mans
- Championship leader Danny Kent has not had great success in his four years racing at the Le Mans Grand Prix; his best result at the circuit is the 13th place finish that he achieved last year, from 12th place on the grid – his best qualifying result at Le Mans.
- Efren Vazquez finished sixth last year at Le Mans after qualifying on pole for the first time in his grand prix career. Vazquez has had a single podium finish at Le Mans – third in the 125cc race in 2011.
- Isaac Viñales finished third last year at Le Mans, which was the first podium finish in his grand prix career.
- Moto3 rider Jules Danilo will celebrate his 20th birthday on the Monday following his home GP. Danilo Finished 12th in Jerez, which is his best ever grand prix result.