MotoGP Raceweek: Spanish riders dominant at Le Mans – French Grand Prix in numbers

By Sports Desk May 16, 2019

Marc Marquez's win in Spain last time out means he sits atop of a tightly grouped first four in the MotoGP riders' standings ahead of the French Grand Prix.

Just nine points separate the world champion, Alex Rins, Andrea Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi after the first four races of the 2019 season, but it is Jorge Lorenzo who has the most formidable record in France.

He and other Spanish riders have dominated at the Le Mans circuit in recent years, with Marquez coming out on top in 2018.

Rossi, meanwhile, is looking to set a new record in qualifying. Here, we take a look at all that and more thanks to Opta data.

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5 - No rider has won the French Grand Prix more often than Lorenzo's five victories in 500cc/MotoGP.

2 - However, Lorenzo has not reached the podium in either of his past two races at Le Mans; if he fails to reach the podium this time it will be his worst such run at the circuit in the top category.

9 - Spanish riders have won nine of the past 10 French Grands Prix in MotoGP, including each of the past seven in a row.

13 - No rider has more podiums at Le Mans in 500cc/MotoGP than Rossi with 13, more than double the next best rider – Lorenzo with six. Rossi has reached the podium in 13 of his 19 appearances in the top category at this circuit.

5 - Rossi could set a record for most MotoGP pole positions at Le Mans in the top category. He currently has four, level with Dani Pedrosa.

1 - Johann Zarco secured pole position in last season's French Grand Prix. That was the first by a French rider in the top category since Christian Sarron in 1988.

20 - Frenchman Fabio Quartararo secured his first pole position in the recent Spanish GP, aged 20 years and 14 days, becoming the youngest rider to claim a MotoGP pole. That surpassed Marquez's record set at the Grand Prix of the Americas in 2013 (20 years and 62 days).

47 - Marquez has 46 wins in his MotoGP career and is just one win away from equalling Lorenzo for the most victories by a Spanish rider in the top category.

7 - Rins recorded his seventh MotoGP podium for Suzuki in the last Grand Prix, equalling Chris Vermeulen as the rider with the most podiums for Suzuki in the top category. He has five podiums in his past eight races.

67 - The 67 points picked up by Dovizioso so far this season is his best haul at this stage of the campaign in his MotoGP career.

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    Jorge Lorenzo conceded he struggled to cope with the physical demands of MotoGP during Friday's practice session at Silverstone following an absence.

    Lorenzo had missed the past four rounds after fracturing vertebrae in his back in a crash during practice at Assen in June.

    The Spaniard targeted the British Grand Prix as his comeback race, but he struggled in practice, finishing last on the combined times and 3.682 seconds off leader Fabio Quartararo, and Lorenzo acknowledges he needs to be patient.

    "It has been a tough day because you never feel very comfortable when you are in the last positions and you are last like I was," Lorenzo said.

    "It is the situation that we have now and to try to push creates crashes and the consequences that you can imagine, so for the moment it is the situation that I have.

    "My back has not healed completely, and I have pain, especially after FP2, and I have lost muscle mass and my physical conditions is not used to MotoGP because of two months without bikes. Little by little, I need to be patient to get through this race."

    Lorenzo added he is unsure if he will be able to complete the full 20 laps on Sunday.

    "I don’t know yet. After the second practice I started to feel more pain on my back compared to yesterday," the Repsol Honda driver said.

    "Every practice that I will do, it will be worse for my back, but I need to manage it and try to manage the right laps, to be able to make the maximum pace and get the right laps without getting worse with my injury.

    "Almost everywhere I have problems physically, in braking, also in the middle of the corners with my neck as my neck lost a lot of muscle, and the change of direction.

    "I have the pain in the back and I move very slowly, so everything I do very slowly. It shows that in my three-and-a-half seconds off to the fastest ones."



  • Hamilton not contemplating quitting Formula One Hamilton not contemplating quitting Formula One

    Lewis Hamilton has no plans to quit Formula One in the near future as he remains hungry for more glory in a "phenomenal journey" with Mercedes.

    The Brit is well on course to surpass Juan Manuel Fangio's tally of five Formula One world titles and move one away from Michael Schumacher's record haul of seven.

    Hamilton is not contemplating quitting the sport and gave a strong hint he would be keen to stay with the Silver Arrows beyond 2020, when his contract expires.

    "One day I will have to stop, but right now I feel fantastic physically and mentally." the 34-year-old said.

    "I don't currently have any plans of stopping soon. There's more to do, there's more to win, there's more to achieve together, inside and outside of the car."

    He added: "It's been a phenomenal journey. I think right now I'm just excited to see what more we can do together and what's next.

    "I honestly don't know why some people decide to stop at the times they decide to stop, but I love driving. I really, really love the challenge."

    Hamilton is not expecting Mercedes to get things all their own way in the remainder of a season he will resume after the summer break with a lead of 62 points.

    "Eight wins in the first half of the season is obviously exceptional." he said.

    "Ferrari have had a good package, they've obviously come with a certain philosophy this year that doesn't work everywhere. Red Bull, I don't know what changes they've done to their car but they seem to really be able turn it round, I think the engine has really made a big step for them as well which is great.

    "I look at those races and I say eight out of 12 [wins]? There's still some missing. So how did we miss those ones? How were we not perfect on those weekends?

    "We've also had races where we were fortunate and Ferrari were quicker. Sometimes it was team error or sometimes it was driver error.

    "I do think the next half of the season could be much, much harder as we continue to have this battle."

  • MotoGP Raceweek: Dovizioso out to maintain fine form as Rossi nears milestone - the British Grand Prix in numbers MotoGP Raceweek: Dovizioso out to maintain fine form as Rossi nears milestone - the British Grand Prix in numbers

    Andrea Dovizioso has regained his form in MotoGP and the Ducati rider will be looking to keep up his recent hot run at the upcoming British Grand Prix.

    Dovizioso claimed his second win of 2019 in Austria last time out, edging out standings leader Marc Marquez by 0.213 seconds.

    Defending champion Marquez still holds a big lead over the Italian, who sits on 172 points, 58 behind the Repsol Honda rider.

    However, Dovizioso has the chance of reaching three podiums in a row for the first time this season after his second place in Brno and his win in Spielberg. He is just one podium finish away from equalling Max Biaggi with the 10th most in MotoGP.

    Valentino Rossi, meanwhile, is nearing a milestone, while Marquez heads to Silverstone as the rider to have recorded the most pole positions in the top category.

    Using Opta data, we have previewed the British Grand Prix in numbers.

    16 - Honda have triumphed 16 times at the British Grand Prix, a record.

    3 - Dovizioso has the chance of winning back-to-back races for the third time in his career, and for the first time since 2017.

    198 - Rossi is on 198 podiums as things stand. He needs two more to become the first rider to finish in the top three in 200 MotoGP races.

    2 - If Marquez fails to win at Silverstone, it will be the first time the Spaniard has failed to finish first in two successive races the since the 2018 Czech Grand Prix.

    77 - Marquez is one victory away from surpassing Mike Hailwood as the rider with the fourth-most victories in MotoGP. He is currently on 76.

    10 - Jorge Lorenzo, who is due to return from injury at Silverstone, has failed to finish in the first 10 places in the last 10 grands prix - his worst run in any category.

    8 - Eight of the 11 MotoGP races this season have been won by Spanish riders.

    58 - Dovizioso is one podium away from matching Biaggi's tally of 58 top-three finishes.

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