Lorenzo extends French rule with imposing Le Mans victory Jorge Lorenzo stormed clear of Valentino Rossi to take his second win in a row in Le Mans this afternoon, making it three victories from three races for the Fiat Yamaha Team this year.
Lorenzo extends French rule with imposing Le Mans victory
Jorge Lorenzo stormed clear of Valentino Rossi to take his second win in a row in Le Mans this afternoon, making it three victories from three races for the Fiat Yamaha Team this year. Rossi overcame a few problems with both his bike and his shoulder to finish second, with Spaniard Andrea Dovizioso third.
Rossi started from pole and got a brilliant start to lead out of the first turn, in front of some 80,000 fans delighting in the balmy weather. Lorenzo has suffered lately when starting but recent work in testing paid off as the 23-year-old slipped just one place to third, before passing Pedrosa back soon after to retake second. The Italian and the two Spaniards soon stretched out a gap from the chasing pack and Lorenzo started to look menacing on his team-mate's rear wheel, trying to pass a few times but failing as Rossi braked deeper and deeper.
It was not until lap twelve that the 23-year-old got by his team-mate and he quickly began to pull away, as the World Champion struggled to find enough grip on acceleration to stay with Lorenzo. The young Mallorcan eventually crossed the line 5.672 seconds ahead to take his first back-to-back wins in MotoGP and stand on top of the Le Mans podium for the second year running.
Lorenzo extends his championship lead to nine points from Rossi, whilst the Fiat Yamaha lead the Team standings and Yamaha the Constructors'. The next round comes at Rossi's home fortress of Mugello, in two week's time.
Jorge Lorenzo - Position: 1st - Time: 44'29.114
"I am so happy to win for the second race in a row, it's the first time for me in MotoGP and it makes me feel very confident in myself. Finally I did a good start, which I'm really happy about, then I easily got past Pedrosa. Passing Valentino wasn't so easy because he was braking so deep and I had to be very patient, something that I might not have managed one year ago! Finally I overtook him but I didn't expect to be able to go away in that way, my bike and Bridgestone tyres just felt so good and it wasn't difficult for me to keep this pace up. I have had a good time in Le Mans since I joined Yamaha; one second and two victories, so I think I can say I enjoy racing here in France! It is fantastic to be leading the championship but there is a long way to go and now we go to Mugello, a track that I love but where my rivals are very strong. Thank you to my team and everyone at Yamaha for this great weekend."
Valentino Rossi - Position: 2nd - Time: +5.672
"I got a very good start but I knew from the beginning that we lacked some pace compared to Lorenzo and we had some unexpected problems in the race, mainly to do with grip on exit and acceleration from the corners. I expected to be faster but it wasn't the case today. I tried to stay in front of Lorenzo but it wasn't possible and I couldn't go with him once he was past, congratulations to him because he was very strong today! I can't blame my shoulder, I had expected it to be a bigger problem but in fact it was okay until six or seven laps from the end and by then the race was over for me. I knew it was important to finish and take the 20 points, it's a long championship and we are only nine points behind. Now I am looking forward to being back on top form for Mugello, my home race."
Wilco Zeelenberg - Team Manager
"A fantastic race and result, Jorge did very well to wait like this behind Valentino and then once he passed to go away in such a way, it was brave and showed how strong he was. He was very fast all weekend but as usual our tactics were to be on the podium, so this is a great bonus. I thought, coming here, that the pressure from leading the championship might worry him but this wasn't the case at all, he just kept his head down and this win is a fantastic reward for such good work."
Davide Brivio - Team Manager
"Valentino started very well once again in this race but then when Lorenzo arrived it was difficult to stay in front, his pace was faster today. Valentino's bike was sliding a little bit too much and he lost some contact when Lorenzo was leading, and by then it was sensible to go for second. There's only nine points between them and we are here and in touch in this exciting championship."