RACE – LE MANS
2018 MotoGP French GP report and results (Marquez winner)
Three out of three. Marc Marquez wins his third MotoGP race in a row at Le Mans (72), signing an authoritative victory at the 2018 French Grand Prix during which the local hero Johann Zarco unfortunately left for the fault of excess of zeal…
"I feel like I was on the bike in 2014," admitted Marc Marquez when he arrived at Le Mans (72) on Thursday, explaining that he was once again able to ride his Honda as he likes it. For his opponents, this observation is worrying: remember that in 2014, Marquez had chained ten straight victories – from Qatar to Indianapolis – to win his second consecutive MotoGP title. !
- GP of France :
- GP of France –
- MNC file :
- MNC file :
And the declarations of the defending champion are not boasting: the No.93 is clearly above the lot since the start of the season, which made him confident at the start of the GP of France 2018. The Spaniard indeed won the two previous races (Austin and Jerez) and probably could have counted an additional success without his impatience in Argentina.
This superiority, Marc Marquez displayed it from the tests by applying a solid rhythm with a hard rear tire, unlike his rivals who are preparing the fifth round of the season with the most tender solution. At this stage, the defending champion is for MNC the favorite, even if Le Mans does not usually smile on him: the Spaniard fell last year and only has one MotoGP victory in La Sarthe (in 2014)…
Of – great – hopes ended on the ground…
Two drivers nevertheless seem able to slow down the "Marc Royale": Andrea Dovizioso, author of very impressive race simulations, and especially Johann Zarco who started from pole position after exceptional qualifying during which he signed the new record for the mancelle track under the vivas of the public !
No spectator did not vibrate in front of the spectacle offered by Johann, literally in osmosis on his private M1! Even his rivals are impressed: "I don’t know how Johann is doing, but he is faster than us", breaths Rossi, admiring the performance of the tricolor on an "old" M1.
Obviously, the expectations for the race are extremely high: it has been 30 years since a French tricolor started on pole at home! Everyone is keeping their fingers crossed that the Avignonnais won this victory which has eluded French pilots in the premier class since … 1954 (George Monneret in Reims) !
When the lights went out, Jorge Lorenzo took control of the French GP while the n ° 5 lost a few lengths which he quickly filled to stay in contact. After a few laps, Andrea Dovizioso made a mistake in the wake of his overtaking Lorenzo, leaving the field open to Zarco who was then second in "his" national race. !
THE DREAM IS OVER crashes out of second place!
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But the Habs in turn made a mistake in the Green Garage, too impatient to overtake Lorenzo to take the lead. Johann enters too quickly in this turn to the right, pulls aside, strength to get back to the rope … and loses the front. No more dreams of home glory…
"I got off to a bad start and I did the yo-yo behind Lorenzo who goes less quickly in the curve but whose Ducati accelerates very, very hard", comments the n ° 5. "I absolutely had to double it to get my rhythm, but probably not at that time: the tank was still full, I quickly entered the Green Garage and I slipped".
"These are things that happen"
"I really did not expect to fall, but these are things that happen. It’s a lesson for the future, on how you have to manage your race to get a victory", analyzes Johann Zarco to whom it is necessary to draw his hat for being available to the media after the race. Some in his place would have been sealed in their motor home … But not Johann, who recognizes and accepts his mistake.
Heartbreak for at Turn 8 ☹
The French dream is over after the home hero crashes out of contention on lap 8 | VIDEO
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"This is his first ball in almost two years, and alas, it’s at home (his last fall dates back to Qatar in 2017, editor’s note)", regrets Hervé Poncharal who believes that the podium was largely within the reach of his pilot. "But we are always smarter afterwards", specifies "Ponpon" who does not throw stone at n ° 5 for his fall at Garage Vert, a delicate turn to negotiate because bumpy and on a slope.
And Marquez imposes his Marc !
After the falls of his main rivals, Marc Marquez quickly rose to the helm of the GP of France by crushing in passing a Jorge Lorenzo whose pace was slowing. Once in front, the n ° 93 did not turn around to register his third victory in a row, his 38th in MotoGP: here he is tied with Casey Stoner. However, winning was not easy for Marquez, who once again made spectacular catches !
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And yet, on arrival, the sympathetic Catalan was whistled by the French supporters, no more respectful than their Italian or Spanish counterparts on this one … Frankly, even if passion can excuse certain borderline behaviors, we can only remain stunned in front of such a lack of recognition of the talent of such an exceptional pilot.
"The race was difficult because everyone was very close. We had to warm up the hard tire, which was not easy in the first laps", explains Marquez at the finish, without worrying about the whistles. .. "Then I was able to escape and it is an important victory", he says..
Rossi on the podium, Viñales 23 seconds behind the winner…
Marquez takes the victory ahead of an astonishing Danilo Petrucci, who stayed within 2.5 seconds of the RC213V until the checkered flag. "Petrux" climbs on his first podium since the 2017 Japanese GP: a deliverance for the n ° 9, less incisive this year on the 2018 version of the Ducati.
Back on the box takes another podium!
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The Pramac driver finished ahead of Valentino Rossi, author of a superb race despite his start from 9th place on the grid. The Doctor remained in the leading group the entire race and finished a few lengths behind Petrucci, a bit better than his compatriot.
"I’m very happy, it’s good to be in the game for a whole race!", Rejoices Rossi who climbs on his 193rd podium in the premier class (229th overall)! "Of course, I would have liked to pass Danilo, but he was a little too fast. It’s a good result," said the Doctor who will be at home for the next race scheduled at Mugello in early June.
Valentino Rossi’s performance forms a particularly stark contrast to that of his teammate Maverick Viñales, only 9th at the finish 23.758 sec from the winner. "Mack" as usual left very – too – cautiously before starting a laborious comeback, far too insufficient in view of his status.
Remember that last year, Viñales won at Le Mans his third victory in five races and at that time took the status of future world champion. But the Spaniard had quickly become disillusioned, plagued by insoluble tuning problems with his motorcycle. Since that date, Lorenzo’s successor at Yamaha has never won a race …
On the strength of his victory in France, Marc Marquez consolidated his leading position in the provisional championship with a 36-point lead after just five races. At this rate, indeed, the Honda rider could replicate his incredible 2014 season…
The Champ extends his Championship lead!
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Maverick Viñales, never a winner but always placed, recovers second place in the standings at the expense of Johann Zarco who falls to third place following his fall, 37 points behind Marquez. Valentino Rossi climbs back to 4th place with 39 lengths behind the leader and two units ahead of Danilo Petrucci.
"Petrux" teammate Jack Miller made a remarkable entry in sixth place in the provisional thanks to his remarkable fourth place snatched at Le Mans ahead of the official Honda of Dani Pedrosa. A good performance for Miller, decidedly at ease on the Ducati Pramac.
Nightmare start for
He’s already out!
– MotoGP ™ (@MotoGP)
The Australian rider precedes the Suzuki of Andrea Iannone in the standings, who made a mistake in the first round of the GP de France 2018. The n ° 29 breaks a good series: Iannone had just won two third places in a row, in Austin then in Jerez. A first for the Italian since its passage on the GSX-RR.
Cal Crutchlow, courageous 8th despite his back pain following his fall in QP1, occupies the same position in the provisional championship ahead of Andrea Dovizioso, who is losing more and more ground in the title race…
"DesmoDovi", 10th overall, is now 49 points behind Marquez following his fall at Le Mans, his second consecutive white result following his collision with Lorenzo and Pedrosa at Jerez. A very rare lack of success for the n ° 4, who usually counts among the "safe" drivers. Rendezvous from June 1 to 3 for the 2018 Italian GP !
Results and classification of the 2018 MotoGP French Grand Prix
- 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team 41’49.773
- 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Alma Pramac Racing +2.310
- 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP +5.350
- 43 Jack MILLER AUS Alma Pramac Racing +6.314
- 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team +7.419
- 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Ducati Team +10.355
- 25 Maverick VIÑALES SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP +23.758
- 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR Honda CASTROL +25.795
- 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +26.206
- 42 Alex RINS SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +27.937
- 44 Pol ESPARGARO SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +32.304
- 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN MAL Monster Yamaha Tech 3 +34.962
- 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA EG 0,0 Marc VDS +37.881
- 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +38.299
- 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU +41.986
- 12 Thomas LUTHI SWI EG 0,0 Marc VDS +45.260
- 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Angel Nieto Team +56.872
- 10 Xavier SIMEON BEL Reale Avintia Racing + 1’12.117
- 45 Scott REDDING GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 17 laps
- 53 Tito RABAT SPA Reale Avintia Racing 17 laps
- 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 19 laps
- 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team 23 laps
- 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Angel Nieto Team 26 laps
Did not finish the 1st round
- 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR
Provisional MotoGP classification 2018
- Marc MARQUEZ Honda SPA (95 points)
- Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha SPA (59 points)
- Johann ZARCO Yamaha FRA (58 points)
- Valentino ROSSI Yamaha ITA (56 points)
- Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati ITA (54 points)
- Jack MILLER Ducati AUS (49 points)
- Andrea IANNONE Suzuki ITA (47 points)
- Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda GBR (46 points)
- Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati ITA (46 points)
- Dani PEDROSA Honda SPA (29 points)
- Tito RABAT Ducati SPA (24 points)
- Alex RINS Suzuki SPA (22 points)
- Pol ESPARGARO KTM SPA (18 points)
- Jorge LORENZO Ducati SPA (16 points)
- Franco MORBIDELLI Honda ITA (16 points)
- Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia SPA (13 points)
- Hafizh SYAHRIN Yamaha MAL (13 points)
- Alvaro BAUTISTA Ducati SPA (12 points)
- Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda JPN (10 points)
- Mika KALLIO KTM FIN (6 points)
- Scott REDDING Aprilia GBR (5 points)
- Bradley SMITH KTM GBR (5 points)
- Karel ABRAHAM Ducati CZE (1 point)
- Thomas LUTHI Honda SWI
- Xavier SIMEON Ducati BEL
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