Round 5: Le Mans 2019
JAMES TOSELAND’S INSIDER INSIGHTS: 31ST MAY 2019
French Le Mans
Hello bike fans!
I’m actually writing this blog in Nice airport.
I was lucky enough to have been invited to the F1 in Monaco at the weekend and I’m now waiting for my flight home. It has been an incredible weekend and a must for any motorsport fan. It was the 90th race there and Lewis didn’t disappoint! He broke the lap record to take pole position and drove an incredible race to stay in the lead until the chequered flag on a very worn tyre.
But don’t worry, I haven’t totally turned to the dark side with all this four-wheeled talk! So enough about Monaco, and back to two wheels... what an amazing MotoGP championship weekend it was in very changeable conditions in Le Mans!
Just like Lewis’ incredible weekend on four wheels we had a flying Scotsman who also took pole position and race win in Le Mans. John McPhee was the 5th different race winner in the opening five races of this season. This is a clear sign of how competitive Moto3 is this season.
The demanding Le Mans track once again took plenty of victims with 12 riders falling out of the race. One of the most decisive mistakes for the outcome of the race was from Tatsuki Suzuki. When the young Japanese rider lost the front at the first chicane, it not only took him out of contention it also took Tony Arbolino out of the race too. This then created a three horse race to the finish line. John McPhee, Lorenzo Dalla Porta and Aron Canet all fought it out right until the very last corner.
John McPhee took his first victory for this year from Lorenzo Dalla Porta, and Aron Canet stood on the final step of the podium.
Aron Canet now leads the championship by 14 points and John moves up to 9th with that victory. I hope this form continues on to the next race in Mugello!
It was four out of five for Triumph in Le Mans! They have taken a best race lap record or an outright lap record (including qualifying) in every race bar one this season!
With the teams and riders having very little data at every track they go to this season in what is Triumph’s first season in the Moto2 championship, these records are an incredible achievement!
The outstanding performer in the race was Alex Marquez. He was consistently fast throughout and didn’t make any mistakes, which is unusual for the young Spanish rider. Has Alex finally found a bike/setting/team that will allow him to show his full potential without having to ride over his limits? It certainly looked like that to me with how smooth he was.
With Lorenzo Baldassarri crashing out for the second time this season, his 3 out of 5 victories this year means he is only 7 points in the lead of the Moto2 championship.
Thomas Luthi’s consistency keeps him in 2nd place overall and Alex Marquez closes the gap to only 14 points after his great victory. I couldn’t believe it had been 2 years since a Spanish rider took victory in the Moto2 class.
Once again Jorge Navarro rode superbly on the Speed Up. He looks so at home on the Speed Up chassis compared to last year on the Kalex. With 3 podiums on the bounce now and only 11 points off the lead of the championship, he really does look like a championship contender now.
Augusto Fernandez took the final step of the podium and he’s another rider who seems to be improving in every race! After a two-year drought the podium was packed with young Spaniards!
I’m looking forward to seeing Triumph smash more records at one of the world’s best circuits next time out in Mugello!
I think the Marquez family would have had a sore head on Monday morning!
What another stunning ride from Marc Marquez. It was Marc’s 83rd pole position in Le Mans. He is now 14 pole positions ahead of Jorge Lorenzo who has the second most pole positions. Let’s not forget that Marc joined the MotoGP championship 5 years later than Jorge. The consistency and dominance of this incredible rider is jaw dropping.
It looked like the Ducatis were going to bully Marc to the line but Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci had to settle for 2nd and 3rd.
Jack Miller gets stronger with every race aboard the 2018 Pramac Ducati and he’s great to watch. That tenacious Aussie grit shines through in his riding style and I am really happy he’s on a great package this season.
It certainly didn’t suit the Suzukis though this weekend. Alex Rins hasn’t been outside the top 5 all year but it looked a long hard weekend for him and his team mate Joan Mir who finished 10th and 16th.
It was a fantastic ride again from Pol Espargaro who brought his KTM home in 6th and Valentino Rossi wasn’t too far away from the leader in 5th.
There was less than 10 seconds covering the top 9 riders across the line in Le Mans so the results could all be different next time out in Mugello!
Even with Marc’s 3rd victory from 5 races there is still only 8 points in it and the championship is still very much alive!
Catch up after Mugello!
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