Le Mans Bugatti Circuit
Lorenzo Extends Championship Lead in Le Mans
The Grand Prix of France at Le Mans was today witness to yet another incident packed race played out in front of the packed grandstands. World Champion Jorge Lorenzo suffered a low side in the morning warm up, sustaining a minor injury to his finger but was otherwise unhurt
Lorenzo held his grid position off the line as the race got underway, battling up to fourth with 14 laps to go and taking Dovizioso on the second corner for the position. Having managed to close the gap to the second and third riders, a mistake caused him to run wide and lose ground, eventually crossing the line still in fourth. With previous closest championship rival Dani Pedrosa crashing out of the race, the results mean Lorenzo has now extended his lead in the Championship to 78, 12 points clear of second place.
Ben Spies leaves France happy to have put the misfortunes of the previous two rounds behind him. The Texan also kept grid position off the line but made two small mistakes in the first laps, losing time to those in front. Consistent race pace saw him close down on Colin Edwards in fifth until an unfortunate crash by the fellow Texan caused Spies to run wide to avoid collision. He recovered and managed to fight off Nicky Hayden to eventually take sixth. The result doubles his point score to 20, placing him in 12th position, only 2 points from Marco Simoncelli in eighth.
Position 4th - Time +21.075
“I think the race has been good in general for us and the results and points are good for the Championship. Obviously I would like to fight with Casey and the other best riders for victory but at this moment it’s really hard. What I can do is try to finish with the best result possible, take the maximum from our bike as it is now and wait for future improvements.” Jorge Lorenzo
Position 6th - Time +31.609
“It was a pretty exciting race. I made two mistakes on the first two laps and lost touch with Colin and Valentino. I tried to ride as hard as I could and was reeling in Colin until unfortunately he crashed; his bike slid across the track so I had to avoid it which allowed Nicky to get up to the back of me. We diced around a bit then I was able to get around him and go on my way. We got a sixth place result which is good for the points.”
Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“It’s been a very tough race here in France but the final result is not so bad. I’m not talking about the fourth position but the fact we are now leading the Championship by 12 points. I think it’s very important to look ahead, we’ve got a lot to discuss after this weekend and will be looking for big improvements moving forward.”
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“A really strange weekend for the Team here at Le Mans; the race had a lot of incidents. For us it was a really important result, we got a lot of points and Jorge is still leading the Championship. Ben got a positive result and took some valuable points as well. Now we have to work to be ready for the Catalunya Grand Prix in three weeks time."