Lorenzo beats Rossi and Ducatis at Le Mans

Jorge Lorenzo demolished the field in the MotoGP race at Le Mans, the factory Yamaha rider leading from start to finish to take an emphatic second successive win.

Lorenzo beats Rossi and Ducatis at Le Mans
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team
Bradley Smith, Monster Yamaha Tech 3
Cal Crutchlow, Team LCR Honda
Danilo Petrucci, Ioda Racing Project
Pol Espargaro, Monster Yamaha Tech 3
Maverick Viñales, Team Suzuki MotoGP
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team and Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing and Bradley Smith, Yamaha Tech 3
Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team and Yonny Hernandez, Pramac Racing
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Behind Lorenzo, Valentino Rossi gave the Yamaha Factory Racing team another one-two as the seven-time champion sliced his way through the field from the third row of the grid to extend a podium run dating back to last year’s Japanese GP at Motegi.

Andrea Dovizioso secured the final step on the podium after a strong race, battling with Lorenzo early on and holding on to Rossi’s coat tails for the remainder of the race. 

"I had a very good start, overtaking Dovizioso around the outside, and then I made a one second gap," said Lorenzo. "When I saw Rossi was up to second and he was very quick, I had to push to the maximum and change my riding style a little bit."

Lorenzo wasted no time in moving into the lead on the opening lap, while Marquez was dropped to fourth after Andrea Iannone forced the Spaniard wide after nearly hitting Lorenzo’s rear wheel.

Marquez tried to recover at the chicane, but overshot and was lucky to retain fourth. Meantime, Rossi was up to fifth within a few turns.

While Lorenzo continued to stretch his lead, with Dovizioso doing his best to stay with him, Rossi was the man on the move. After dispatching Marquez, he then put the hammer down to pass Iannone and then Dovizioso before attempting to catch Lorenzo.

"We suffered a lot in practice because I wasn't able to ride the bike at the limit," explained Rossi, "but we did something very different [with the set-up] for the race.

"I needed three or four laps to understand it, and after that I had good pace, but when I arrived behind Jorge he was too fast."

Marquez was way off the frontrunners nearing the final phase of the race, with the factory Honda rider fighting hard with Iannone for fourth place for the closing laps – a position the reigning champion would just hold on to.

Tech 3's Bradley Smith scored sixth place, taking a watching brief behind the battle for fourth. He finished in front of teammate Pol Espargaro.

Yonny Hernandez secured eighth for the Pramac Racing team, ahead of Maverick Vinales on the factory Suzuki and the second Pramac machine of Danilo Petrucci in 10th. Nicky Hayden enjoyed a return to form to take the Open Class victory for the Aspar team in 11th.

Dani Pedrosa’s return to action didn’t go to plan as he crashed out of seventh place on the second lap, rejoining way down the field and finishing out of the points in 16th. The opening laps also saw Suzuki's Aleix Espargaro retiring with a suspected mechanical fault.

The Bugatti circuit’s notoriously tricky La Chapelle corner also claimed the remaining two British riders. Scott Redding fell from his Marc VDS machine, and was then followed by LCR rider Cal Crutchlow who was battling for fifth when he fell.

There was also disaster for Crutchlow’s teammate Jack Miller, who lost the front-end of his LCR Honda machine shortly after while battling Hayden for Open class honours.

Race results:

Pos Rider  Bike   Time   Gap
Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 43m44.143  
Valentino Rossi Yamaha 43m47.963 3.820
Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 43m56.523 12.380
Marc Marquez Honda 44m04.033 19.890
Andrea Iannone Ducati 44m04.380 20.237
Bradley Smith Yamaha 44m05.288 21.145
Pol Espargaro Yamaha 44m19.636 35.493
Yonny Hernandez Ducati 44m23.744 39.601
Maverick Vinales Suzuki 44m25.714 41.571
10  Danilo Petrucci Ducati 44m26.932 42.789
11  Nicky Hayden Honda 44m37.779 53.636
12  Loris Baz Yamaha Forward 44m44.760 1m00.617
13  Hector Barbera Ducati 44m48.415 1m04.272
14  Eugene Laverty Honda 44m49.402 1m05.259
15  Alvaro Bautista Aprilia 44m49.658 1m05.515
16  Dani Pedrosa Honda 45m05.050 1m20.907
17  Alex de Angelis ART 45m05.806 1m21.663
18  Marco Melandri Aprilia 44m22.904 1 Lap
Jack Miller Honda  
Karel Abraham Honda  
Cal Crutchlow Honda  
Scott Redding Honda  
Mike Di Meglio Ducati  
Aleix Espargaro Suzuki  
Stefan Bradl Yamaha Forward  
shares
comments
Lorenzo demonstrates pace at damp Le Mans
Previous article

Lorenzo demonstrates pace at damp Le Mans

Next article

Marquez battles hard for 4th place in France with Pedrosa showing courage despite crash

Marquez battles hard for 4th place in France with Pedrosa showing courage despite crash
Load comments
The three factors that crowned MotoGP's newest champion at Misano Prime

The three factors that crowned MotoGP's newest champion at Misano

The prospect of Fabio Quartararo clinching the 2021 MotoGP world championship title at Misano appeared small after struggling to 15th in qualifying, while main rival Francesco Bagnaia took pole. Here's how the Yamaha rider turned it around, with help from an ill-fated Bagnaia tyre choice, to secure the crown with two races to spare

MotoGP
Oct 25, 2021
Marco Simoncelli: Remembering MotoGP's ultimate maverick 10 years on Prime

Marco Simoncelli: Remembering MotoGP's ultimate maverick 10 years on

Saturday 23 October marks the 10th anniversary of Marco Simoncelli's death. The one-time 250cc world champion and double MotoGP podium finisher was the ultimate maverick character with big hair, a big personality and an even bigger talent. Motorsport.com pays tribute to a much-missed figure, a decade on.

MotoGP
Oct 23, 2021
Why Quartararo has evolved more than Yamaha in MotoGP Prime

Why Quartararo has evolved more than Yamaha in MotoGP

Fabio Quartararo has his first match point in the 2021 MotoGP title race this weekend at Misano. While the 2021 Yamaha is a much-improved bike to its inconsistent predecessor, its the rider himself who has shown the biggest evolution this season. Oriol Puigdemont delves into Quartararo's growth.

MotoGP
Oct 19, 2021
Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider Prime

Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider

Marc Marquez's romp to victory at the Grand Prix of the Americas led many to believe the 'old' pre-injury Honda rider was close to coming back to his full powers. However, the 'old' Marquez will probably never exist again and instead he'll have to adapt to his new reality to return to title-winning ways in 2022.

MotoGP
Oct 6, 2021
Why self-preservation was key to Marquez's COTA "dream" result Prime

Why self-preservation was key to Marquez's COTA "dream" result

Marc Marquez scorched to his seventh Circuit of the Americas victory in MotoGP last Sunday with a display reminiscent of his pre-injury form. However, his path to the win across the weekend was in keeping with the current reality of his physical limitations, with self-preservation on Saturday key to his Sunday success

MotoGP
Oct 4, 2021
How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike Prime

How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike

His third place at Misano made Enea Bastianini the fifth different Ducati-mounted rider to score a podium in 2021. Amid a season that has seen one rider amass the bulk of Yamaha and Honda's success, the Ducati's versatility makes for a potent weapon, but the contribution of a former leading light shouldn't be forgotten

MotoGP
Sep 23, 2021
The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career Prime

The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career

Maverick Vinales’ early debut with Aprilia has been one of the most interesting plots of the recent MotoGP rounds. The results may not look standout on paper, but a closer inspection reveals just how much progress Vinales has truly made in understanding a bike that has taken him well out of his “comfort zone”.

MotoGP
Sep 22, 2021
Why Misano was a pivotal race for MotoGP's present and future Prime

Why Misano was a pivotal race for MotoGP's present and future

On a day each of the podium trio could claim to be the star of the show, the San Marino GP will be remembered as a pivotal race in both MotoGP's present and future. While Fabio Quartararo demonstrated his world title credentials just behind Francesco Bagnaia's flawless victory charge, a new threat emerged from the shadows

MotoGP
Sep 20, 2021