Le Mans MotoGP – Rider Quotes from the whole field

MotoGP 2016 coverage brought to you by Honda Genuine Oils
MotoGP 2016 coverage brought to you by Honda Genuine Oils and Chemicals

Jorge Lorenzo – P1

“I‘m very happy with this victory, because everything has been almost perfect. In the race I knew Marquez had the chance to fight for the victory with me, or if he wasn‘t very fast, he would have been second or third and that would have meant he would still have kept his first position in the championship, but he crashed. Now in the championship three riders scored zero or very little points in one race, so in some way we are starting the championship from zero again after those races, but with us being five points ahead.”

Jorge Lorenzo
Jorge Lorenzo
Valentino Rossi – P2

“I started quite badly from the third row so at the beginning it was very complicated. I had a quite good pace so I was able to push and I was quite fast, but you have to stay quiet because it was very easy to make some mistakes. Step by step I arrived to the back of Marquez and Dovi and at that moment I was a bit faster. I‘m so happy, because when you start from seventh position and you take twenty points it‘s very good, also because they are twenty very important points. In the championship I‘m twelve points behind Jorge and seven behind Marc. This means that between us three the championship is wide open and we have to concentrate. I‘m just third at this moment, so I have to think race by race and especially think of Mugello and try to be competitive there.”

Valentino Rossi
Valentino Rossi
Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha MotoGP Team Director

“It was a perfect race day for us. After yesterday’s qualifying we were feeling confident that Jorge and Vale would be able to take home a good result, but it‘s not until Sunday that the points get distributed. Both the team and the riders worked harmonically together and kept focused on getting the results we needed to achieve when it really matters. Similar to last year, Jorge rode a flawless race that started with a perfect launch off the line and finished with him taking over the lead in the championship standings. Vale lost some time at the start of the race, but still managed to repeat his brilliant performance from the previous year and rode a very strong and clever race to take a well-deserved second place. I want to say a big thank you to the whole team. Thanks to their hard work we head to Mugello, our home race, in a strong position in the championship.”

Yamaha celebrate their 1-2 at Le Mans MotoGP 2016
Yamaha celebrate their 1-2 at Le Mans MotoGP 2016
Maverick Viñales – P3

“Le Mans must be my lucky track because here I hit my first victory in the World Championship in 2011 and today I got the first podium in MotoGP. I like it very much and I was so sorry when I saw I could not push as hard as I wanted in previous days. Of course I am very happy for this result, to be the first rider to take Suzuki back on the podium and for the job we have done. Until yesterday I was very worried about the race, but I must thank my crew and all Suzuki’s engineers who didn’t give up and developed a solution during the night that proved to be effective. We are doing a very intense job and this podium is a reward for my efforts and those done by the whole crew and Company.”

Maverick Vinales
Maverick Vinales

Ken Kawauchi – Suzuki MotoGP Technical Manager

“We finally got this so awaited podium and we are all very happy, it is a result that pays back all the jobs we did and are doing, and is also something that gives us further hope. Maverick had some difficulties in finding a good feeling with his machine in previous days here at Le Mans, but finally we found some good solutions which proved to be effective in allowing him to feel confident. His pace in the race was very good, and although we took benefit from a couple of crashes ahead, we are proud because his race was wise and consistent. This is what we were aiming for. We are working hard, this is a good reward, and I believe that if we continue to work hard we could soon aim for the victory. Unfortunately, Aleix had some more troubles, but he finished in sixth which is a good result. The most important is that he is finding his confidence back and his last races were positive for him.”

Suzuki celebrate their podium at Le Mans MotoGP 2016
Suzuki celebrate their podium at Le Mans MotoGP 2016
Dani Pedrosa – P4

“I cannot feel satisfied with today’s fourth place because obviously I would prefer be much higher up the order and have better races. I give my all, but the conditions are not always there to do well. We are also making some mistakes, and one that is hurting us most is in qualifying, because starting far back makes things more difficult in the race. At the beginning of the race today we did not have good grip and it was hard to get enough of a feeling to go a little faster. The second part of the race went better, and there were some laps in which I even rode quicker than Rossi’s pace, but it was too late. What makes a difference is starting well, starting high up on the grid and putting in good opening laps.”

Dani Pedrosa, Aleix Espargaro
Dani Pedrosa, Aleix Espargaro
Pol Espargaro – P5

“Of course I’m pleased to conclude the weekend once more as the leading satellite rider and inside the top 5, yet after our strong performance in all the sessions I hoped to be a bit closer to the leading guys. However, after the Moto2 race, the track became really greasy and the bike slid so much especially during acceleration so it was quite tricky to ride. Moreover, I was not fully comfortable with the brakes during the whole race and I made several mistakes like running wide a couple of times. It’s a pity because we worked really well in the morning warm up, but finally in the race, my feelings just weren’t quite the same like in the practice sessions, so we could not repeat our pace. Anyway, we did the best job that we could at the Tech3 team’s home race and after the positives of the event we will try even harder in Mugello. Unfortunately, I dropped a position in the championship standings, but I’m still 6th and everything is really tight as I am only points behind Maverick. Next up for us is Mugello which is a circuit that I really enjoy, so I’m looking forward to getting back on the Yamaha soon in Italy.”

Pol Espargaro
Pol Espargaro
Hervé Poncharal – Tech3 Yamaha MotoGP Team Manager

“In all honesty, I have mixed feelings about today’s result at our home Grand Prix, but I know that the guys really went for it and did their best. We were proud about having both the riders on the second row of the grid for the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France. This was almost like a dream, plus the warm up went very well, especially for Pol, so we were confident that a strong result was possible. Pol did a great job all weekend long, put his head down and pushed all the way until the end of the race, so I want to thank him for once again being the top independent rider in the race plus, strengthening this position in the championship. He is really having a good season so far this year. On the other side of the garage, this Grand Prix looked like it was going to be the best for Brad since the beginning of 2016 and his qualifying was incredibly promising. Then, his race pace was consistent and looking good but I’m a little bit disappointed that he pushed that hard because the gap to the rider behind him was big and as a team manager I want to see both riders finish and secure some strong points. Nevertheless, Brad will bounce back and the most important thing is that both riders are fit and Mugello is approaching so hopefully we can have two good results there. Anyway, regarding the event this weekend, I want to give a big congratulations to Claude Michy for his organisation, plus to Yamaha for their result of 1st and 2nd, and I also want to say thanks to the incredible number of spectators who came which altogether made it a memorable weekend for MotoGP in France. Thank you.”

Aleix Espargaró – P6

“At the end of the day I can’t be satisfied but I’m happy, for the whole weekend we did many improvements and could be faster and faster. I did a good start and could keep a good pace for the early laps, then I felt something strange on the front tyre and couldn’t push as hard as I wanted. I saw the board with the gaps and I decided to conduct a wise race, holding the place and getting home safe with some championship points. My crew and the whole Suzuki team is doing a great job, we did big improvements and today’s podium from Maverick is evidence. My compliments to him, but also this is a good sign of what our potential is.”

Aleix Espargaro
Aleix Espargaro
Danilo Petrucci – P7

“I’m very happy. Now I can say I feel really better. It has been a difficult period and I thank all those who helped me. I did not know if I would be able to finish the free practice and now I can enjoy this beautiful seventh place. I’m happy but I do not want to stop here. At Mugello I hope to be able to lap a little closer to the leading group. Thanks to a little luck I managed to gain the seventh place but I can do better. Meanwhile, however, is now time to celebrate, especially with my team who as usual did a great job.”

Danilo Petrucci
Danilo Petrucci
Hector Barbera – P8

“To be honest I have to be happy with eighth place. Le Mans has been always a difficult track for me, basically because it features multiple changes of direction and as we could see at Austin, it’s hard to make this bike turn. But as I said, the position is good and we keep scoring points in every race. The race was really hard fought, and it was a shame losing the battle for seventh in the last lap. I had a contact at the beginning of the race and I moved back to the last place, so I had to recover lap by lap. There were many crashes and for sure that helped us today, but the track conditions were the same for everybody and I was more conservative and waited for my moment to attack. The team did a great job this weekend, we have been patient and we got the best possible result with our package. Overall I’m happy because we were able to fight during all the race.”

Hector Barbera
Hector Barbera
Alvaro Bautista – P9

“This morning we tried something different and, despite the crash, we noticed an improvement. Unfortunately, in the race the instrument cluster signalled some errors during the first laps so I started off cautiously. Then everything sorted itself out and I was able to find my pace. In terms of performance, the race was the best session of the weekend. Starting from behind I was able to recover positions and, to be honest, I did not expect to finish ninth. I’m very pleased and I must really thank the mechanics for fixing the bike after the crash during warm up and Aprilia for their continued work on the RS-GP”.

Alvaro Bautista
Alvaro Bautista
Stefan Bradl – P10

“I’m obviously happy about the final result, but not so much about how the race went. I had a great start and I followed my strategy of pushing hard in the first laps. Then, unfortunately, contact with Barbera as I was overtaking him bent my brake lever and I had to fix it on the fly twice as I couldn’t find the ideal position. Without this problem I would have been able to stay in the group of riders that were making a play for a better position, and that would have changed my race, although toward the end I was forced to slow down because I was struggling to maintain my pace. It was a difficult weekend, but we are finishing it with a good result anyway”.

Stefan Bradl
Stefan Bradl
Romano Albesiano – Aprilia Racing Manager

“This was a weekend where we ran into a few difficulties with the setup, a situation that pushed us to try some new things in terms of the chassis and electronics. This is a positive aspect in certain respects, since this is an entirely new project. Despite a few problems, we achieved a good result in the race, partly to the credit of our mechanics who repaired the bikes that were damaged during warm up in record time. Our work goes on and we’ll do whatever we can to give Alvaro and Stefan an increasingly higher performance RS-GP”.

Eugene Laverty – P11

“I made a decent start and I was up there with Petrucci and Barbera and then I started to feel there was something wrong with the bike. From that point it was just a case of bringing it home. My good fortune in a way was the misfortune of other riders because I was still able to come through and pick up five points. Looking to the future we need to improve our performance over one lap in qualifying, to be in that top ten or twelve. Our race pace today was the same as Petrucci but he made it into Q2 and that makes a big difference. It seems this year I’m a Sunday man but I need to be a Saturday man too.”

Eugene Laverty
Eugene Laverty
Loris Baz – P12

“This was one of the worst race weekends of my life, because I can’t remember ever having had a problem with no solution in my career; we tried everything and nothing worked out. The start was quite good and I passed a lot of people, but I realised immediately that it was impossible to keep the pace and I went back again. So, there’s not much to say, I’ve been very lucky with all the crashes today and I got some points. Yes, we finished 12th, but this not a real result as eight riders crashed during the race. We finished way back and the bike was impossible to ride. I wish I had a different tyre at Mugello. If not, we’ll keep trying to find a solution, but right now we have no more ideas to test.”

Loris Baz
Loris Baz
Marc Marquez – P13

“It was a pity about the crash today. I was having a good race, but these things can happen when you’re at the limit on every lap. I could have opted for a more conservative race, but here you can end up far back if you do that, so today I had to take risks. In the race I saw that I was losing ground under acceleration, and I had to make that back with my braking. Finally I lost the front and crashed. The positive is that I managed to get three points and I’m only five off Jorge Lorenzo in the standings, which isn’t a lot. Now we have a run of tracks that we found a little tough last year, but they’re quite different to Jerez and Le Mans, so I hope to be fast and have some good races.”

Marc Marquez' RC213V showing some battle damage from its trip through the kitty litter - Image by AJRN
Marc Marquez’ RC213V showing some battle damage from its trip through the kitty litter – Image by AJRN
Jack Miller – DNF

“It was a disappointing race.  We pushed hard with a plan to have a strong weekend in Le Mans and it was looking good but with 10 laps to go I came into corner seven and lost the front.  It felt normal, like the lap before, not too fast and then I just hit the bump and the bike disappeared from under me. Everyone struggled with the front tyre today and that is what happened to us.”

Jack Miller
Jack Miller
Tito Rabat – DNF

“I am very disappointed because I did a very good warm-up session in the morning and I felt good for the race.  I had just passed Loris Baz and I was going a little faster and closed the front on the entry to turn six. I’m sorry for the team and myself because I don’t know how I could do such a big mistake.”

Tito Rabat
Tito Rabat
Michael Bartholemy – Team Principal Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS

“Two DNFs is a big shame especially when you lose both places out of the points and in Jack’s case pushing to move to ninth place. It is difficult for a private team because we need results and this was a day when it was possible to get some points. There were a lot of crashes and it is a shame to go home with zero points.”

Andrea Dovizioso – DNF

“It’s a real pity because we had guessed the right strategy and managed to start the race well. I was in the group following Lorenzo and trying to understand where it was possible to try and attack Rossi, but at the entry to Turn 7 the front tyre lost grip and I found myself on the ground. After analyzing the telemetry, we saw that I had a lean angle that was only two degrees higher than the previous laps, but, even without taking this into account, the tyres were working quite well this weekend. Unfortunately it is a characteristic of theirs to not give any warning when they lose grip, and I crashed. Today’s performance gave us some important feedback for the future, because it proved that we can be quick, but not for the entire duration of the race. Now we have to work to be more consistent, and then go on to find pure performance.”

Andrea Dovizioso
Andrea Dovizioso
Andrea Iannone – DNF

“I am very disappointed because crashing in the race, especially after a weekend in which we were always competitive and performing well, really hurts. What happened is very strange, because I pushed harder in the early laps to overtake Dovi under braking than when I was behind Lorenzo and trying to reduce the gap. But the behavior of the front tyre is always difficult to predict and you never know how much confidence you have. Despite the crash we proved that we were quick, even though we were unable to bring home any points: now we really have to improve some aspects that are not allowing us to be constant throughout the whole race.”

Andrea Iannone, Andrea Dovizioso
Andrea Iannone, Andrea Dovizioso
Luigi Dall’Igna – Ducati Corse General Manager

“A double retirement is always tough to accept, especially on a weekend in which the Desmosedici GP and both our riders demonstrated an excellent competitive level. If we want to find something positive however, we can say that after a very difficult Spanish GP at Jerez, here at Le Mans we finally got back to fighting for the top positions both in practice and the race. Now we have to quickly put behind us today’s disappointment and focus on our home race, the Italian GP at Mugello, where we will do our best to give some satisfaction to all our fans and enthusiasts.”

Bradley Smith – DNF

“It goes without saying that it’s a frustrating end to the weekend, especially because it’s clear to see that it was the best weekend that we’ve had so far this year. I started well and the first ten laps or so were positive, but then I experienced a bit of a tricky period as I had a coming together with Pedrosa and I lost some time as I ran off track. However, after that, I felt that I was getting a second wind. I felt that my rhythm was getting stronger, plus I was able to improve my lap times so I focused on being as smooth as possible. At that moment, I saw that I was catching Aleix as well as Pol, yet I went too close to the limit as the front tyre was starting to drop away and I carried a bit too much corner speed so I rolled off the side of the tyre. I am very disappointed but more for the team than myself because they have put in a lot of effort and it would have been nice to celebrate with a strong result at our home GP. Nevertheless, I have to remain optimistic because until the race, it was a much better weekend than what we have experienced so far this season. At least we are back on track and next we go to Mugello, which is one of my favourite circuits on the calendar, with a MotoGP bike that I feel confident with. There is a lot of data that we can take from today’s race plus, there are a few adjustments to make because we always want to improve and I still feel that we can make a better bike. This will be the plan when we go to Mugello and we will see how we get on there.”

Bradley Smith
Bradley Smith
Cal Crutchlow – DNF

“Obviously I’m very disappointed again today, no points is tough for myself and the team. I think everyone could see today though that just finishing the race was a hard job. We chose the harder front tyre, and thought this was the best choice with the temperature of the track. I still stick to my decision to go with the tyre though, it’s just difficult to follow the lines of other riders on the other manufacturers’ bikes. We have to look at the positives and I felt that we worked well this weekend. We have to continue to work and we know Honda are working hard for us too. We’ll continue to give them the best information and we will try to work together to fix the problems we have.”

Scott Redding – DNF

“I am very sorry for how things went. It is not an easy moment, but certainly I can not think what would have happened in Argentina and in France without these problems. At the same time I must admit that the feelings in the first six laps were good. I had a good race pace and the feeling was good even during the warm up. I want to restart from these sensations, with the knowledge that we were on the right direction and it was only bad luck.”

Scott Redding
Scott Redding
Yonny Hernández – DNF

“In general it was a crash-strewn race. In my case I don’t know exactly what happened but we have looked at the telemetry and it seems I hit a bump and lost grip on the rear, which caused me to lose the front. I wasn’t expecting the crash because I wasn’t over the limit and I was just setting the same pace as in warm-up. The set-up of the bike was good and I felt comfortable. I could have finished with a good result and I was lapping twelfth when I crashed, so that is upsetting. So far this season has been tough but I am hoping to get out of this rut as soon as possible. We have been fast in testing and in practice but so far we have not been able to show it in a race. Now I am looking towards Mugello, leaving what happened here behind us and working hard with thirteen races still remaining.”

Yonny Hernandez
Yonny Hernandez
MotoGP 2016 - Round Five - Le Mans - MotoGP
MotoGP 2016 – Round Five – Le Mans – MotoGP
MotoGP 2016 - Round Five - Le Mans - MotoGP
MotoGP 2016 – Round Five – Le Mans – MotoGP
Suzuki celebrate their podium at Le Mans MotoGP 2016
Suzuki celebrate their podium at Le Mans MotoGP 2016
MotoGP 2016 – Round Five – Le Mans – World Championship Points Standings
  1. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 90
  2. Marc Marquez (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 85
  3. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 78
  4. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 53
  5. Maverick Viñales (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar 49
  6. Pol Espargarò (SPA) Monster Yamaha Tech3 47
  7. Aleix Espargarò (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar 42
  8. Hector Barbera (SPA) Avintia Racing 39
  9. Eugene Laverty (IRL) Aspar Team MotoGP 33
  10. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Ducati Team 25
  11. Stefan Bradl (GER) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 23
  12. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Ducati Team 23
  13. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 21
  14. Bradley Smith (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech3 20
  15. Scott Redding (GBR) Octo Pramac Yakhnich 16
  16. Michele Pirro (ITA) Octo Pramac Yakhnich 12
  17. Tito Rabat (SPA) Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS 11
  18. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Octo Pramac Yakhnich 9
  19. Loris Baz (FRA) Avintia Racing 8
  20. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) LCR Honda 5
  21. Yonny Hernandez (COL) Aspar Team MotoGP 3
  22. Jack Miller (AUS) Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS 2
MotoGP 2016 coverage brought to you by Honda Genuine Oils
MotoGP 2016 coverage brought to you by Honda Genuine Oils and Chemicals