Repsol Honda French GP Race Report

Le Mans Bugatti Circuit

The Repsol Honda Team head to Le Mans in positive spirits

The 2011 MotoGP World Championship resumes this weekend for round four in Le Mans, France.

After his first win of the 2011 season in Portugal, Dani Pedrosa has now cut the gap to World Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo down to just four points. Team mate Casey Stoner - 3rd in Portugal, is currently third in the Championship with Andrea Dovizioso in 6th place.

Pedrosa has enjoyed wins in 125cc (2003) and 250cc (2004, 2005) at Le Mans, but victory in MotoGP class eludes him, with his best result being 3rd in both 2006 and 2009. He has also achieved five pole positions at this circuit. Stoner has had mixed fortunes at Le Mans, with only one podium finish in 2007 he will be looking for a good result here on his RC212V. With a win in 125cc in 2004 and a 3rd place finish in 2010, Dovizioso will be hoping for a podium finish in Le Mans also.

Race winner Dani Pedrosa is congratulated by teammate Casey Stoner
Race winner Dani Pedrosa is congratulated by teammate Casey Stoner

Photo by: Repsol Media

The Le Mans circuit - most famous for it's legendary 24hour car race, demands a very specific set up with it's series of tight chicanes and an incredibly fast first corner. The weather is also an unknown factor and has influenced the races in recent years, in both 2007 and 2009 the races were wet-dry - with riders needing to swap bikes in pits. This is sure to be an epic race for the large French crowds that attend the event every year. DANI PEDROSA

DANI PEDROSA – 2nd in Championship – 61 points

“It's been the first week in a long time in which I have felt calm and confident, especially after the race we had in Portugal. It was a great release for me to feel good on the bike after the operation and makes me see things differently. After the race and Monday's test I was very tired and sore. I spent three days resting to relax the muscles and then I continued with the physiotherapy and gently working with my trainer. Now, I look forward to getting back on the bike. Le Mans will be, as always, a difficult and busy weekend. I've done well overall in this circuit, I have quite a lot of confidence there, but I am yet to win in MotoGP and I would like to. It's similar to Estoril, a stop and go track where Yamaha has been also very strong in the past. We need to take a big profit of the practice sessions to prepare a bike with good stability, traction and acceleration and be prepared f or any track condition because of the weather. In this track you need to be also very focused because the race is long and it's very important to be consistent and not make any mistakes”. CASEY STONER

CASEY STONER – 3rd in Championship – 41 points

“In Estoril I was very happy to retain 3rd and keep some valuable points for the Championship. We've always had some reasonable results in LeMans but never really quite good enough. The practice sessions will be important to get the set up of the bike just right, and I feel the Honda should work well there so I'm looking forward to it”. ANDREA DOVIZIOSO

ANDREA DOVIZIOSO – 6th in Championship – 30 points

“After the improvements made in the post GP test in Estoril, we arrive in Le Mans more competitive. We will use the new clutch we tested in Portugal and take advantage of the set up solutions tested there. Le Mans is a slow track and has a lot of changes of direction, unfortunately the circuit has lost part of its fascination after changes made in the past years. I have always scored good results on this track, last year we had a very good race finishing on the podium. We head to Le Mans determined to repeat it. Our target is the podium and to achieve it we need to work well from the first day”.

-source: repsol honda

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Andrea Dovizioso , Jorge Lorenzo , Casey Stoner , Dani Pedrosa
Teams Repsol Honda Team
Tags dovizioso, honda, lemans, pedrosa, repsol, stoner