Round 4: French MotoGP™ - Race
Le Mans, Sunday 20 May 2012
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium. Rear: Soft, Medium (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: Wet. Ambient 15-15°C; Track 16-19°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Dominant Lorenzo takes victory in wet French Grand Prix
Jorge Lorenzo was unstoppable on the Yamaha Factory Racing M1 today as he dominated in a wet French MotoGP™ to claim his second win of the season.
The whole race was a challenge in the wet conditions.
Lorenzo started brilliantly from fourth on the grid to seize the race lead in the opening lap after which he streaked away to cross the finish line ten seconds ahead of his nearest competitor. In second place and on the podium at Le Mans for the second successive year was Ducati’s Valentino Rossi, the Italian coming on strong towards the end of the race to pass Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner who rounded out the podium in third place. The top CRT rider at Le Mans was Paul Bird Motorsport pilot James Ellison who rode a determined race to finish 11th.
With a wet track and very cool temperatures for the race, all riders chose the soft wet compound for the rear and all but one rider selected the soft compound wet for the front to ensure maximum warm-up performance and initial grip. The rain eased off during the race reducing the amount of standing water on track, though the soft compound wet tyres suffered very little degradation with the majority of riders setting their personal best times in the latter stages of the race.
Jorge Lorenzo’s victory lifts him to the top of the MotoGP™ championship standings with an eight point advantage over Casey Stoner, with Dani Pedrosa a further 17 points back in third position.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Today we saw a thrilling race and I commend Jorge Lorenzo and Yamaha for their very strong performance today. The track for the race was very cold and wet and grip levels varied greatly from lap to lap and corner to corner creating very difficult conditions for all the riders, so I am pleased with how our wet tyres performed over the duration of the race as lap times were quite stable and improved towards the end of the race.
“Apart from the spectacular race today, we had some other big news this weekend with Casey Stoner announcing his retirement from MotoGP at the end of the season. We’ve enjoyed a long and successful working relationship with Casey who brought us our first world championship and I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for all he has given to MotoGP and Bridgestone and I wish him all the best for the rest of the season and the next chapter in his life after racing.”
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Today’s wet and very cool conditions made this morning’s warm-up session very important for teams to find a good setup for the race. Almost every rider selected the soft compound wet tyres front and rear and this combination worked very well in a race where the level of water on the circuit changed substantially. For this race weekend, all our 2012 specification tyres performed very well at Le Mans and provided an effective option for riders in the variable weather conditions.”
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing – Race Winner
“Today was a very hard race and the conditions were difficult, especially at the beginning of the race. The whole race was a challenge in the wet conditions and when Casey was trying to catch me I had to work really hard to keep my concentration. I am very happy to take this victory and I want to thank my team and my fans for all their support.”