The Monster Energy Grand Prix de France was host to another dominating Lorenzo victory while an intense battle for fourth burned.
Fortunately rain was nowhere to be seen in Le Mans, setting the stage for an exciting and eventful MotoGP™ race. The French GP comes after a post race test in Jerez and many riders arrived in France with new confidence, direction and parts. Bradley Smith was one such rider, running new front forks this weekend and leading FP2 on Friday. Marquez and Crutchlow both also had new swing arms.
Round five of the MotoGP™ World Championship also saw Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa return to the grid, the Spaniard having missed three rounds after having surgery to cure arm pump issues. Returning for Jerez had been a possibility, but a test on a Supermoto bike had Pedrosa and his Repsol Honda crew air on the side of caution and wait till Le Mans.
Lorenzo had appeared strong again this weekend, as he had done in Jerez, despite feeling his third on the grid was one of the worst results of his career. A lightning start allowed the Spaniard to break away early, quickly able to pass Andrea Dovizioso on the Ducati and focus on riding his own race. One of Lorenzo’s strongest areas is his ability to run at the front and set incredibly consistent lap times when not having to battle with other riders. As in Jerez, Lorenzo demonstrated this incredible skill and was nearly untouchable. “I could overtake Dovizioso early and stay in the lead. I had to manage the one second gap and I had to push really hard even though the front feeling wasn’t great,” he said.
This makes it back-to-back wins for Lorenzo and reignites his championship hopes after many had begun to doubt the Spaniard. The MotoGP™ paddock heads next to Mugello, a favourite track of Lorenzo and one that has seen several outstanding rides from the Movistar Yamaha rider. On his current form he will be difficult to match.
While Lorenzo was surging ahead, Marc Marquez had a difficult start to the race, dropping as low as sixth before finding his form in the closing stages.
The Spaniard quickly caught Andrea Iannone and Bradley Smith ahead, leading to a fiery battle between Marquez and Iannone. The duo swapped positions at nearly every corner, giving spectators flashbacks of their Moto2™ days. The performance of Iannone was particularly impressive as he dislocated his left shoulder less than a week ago at a private Ducati test at Mugello. Marquez eventually came out on top as Iannone’s lap times dropped off significantly in the final three laps, no doubt feeling the pain in his shoulder.
While the battle tore on behind, Andrea Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi had a brief battle, the Yamaha rider coming out on top. Issues in Jerez saw Dovizioso finish off the podium for the first time this year, this third at Le Mans is important for the Ducati rider’s championship as he sits in third with 83 points. “The grip after ten laps was not great, I struggled a bit. I couldn’t gain much in the braking. I didn’t have Lorenzo’s pace though. To return to the podium is important for the championship and us,” reflected Dovizioso after the race.
Charging through the field, Rossi seemed as though he may be able to catch his teammate but the gap never dropped below one and a half seconds. It had been a less than ideal start to the weekend for the Italian as he and his Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team struggled with finding a good setting. Big risks in changes to the set up of Rossi’s M1 paid off come the race as he once again extended his championship lead, now 15 points ahead of teammate Lorenzo. “We suffered a lot during practice because I couldn’t ride to the limit. We risked more with the set up for the race and I felt very good. It took a couple of laps to understand it fully,” said Rossi.
Le Mans was a difficult race for many of the British riders, both Cal Crutchlow and Scott Redding fell from the race in what was an overall disappointing weekend for many of the Honda bikes. The higher track temperatures on race day having a negative impact for the Honda riders who struggled for front end feel. Bradley Smith did well to finish in sixth behind the dueling pair of Iannone and Marquez after a strong showing earlier in the week. There were also reasons to celebrate for rookie Eugene Laverty, the Irishman scoring his first MotoGP™ points as he finished in 14th and as the second Open Honda bike.
The Open category was led by Nicky Hayden, the American also qualifying as the highest Open rider. He and Jack Miller had battled during the early stages of the race, but the Australian fell as he exited Turn 4. Local rider Loris Baz also finished in the points in 12th, taking his best ever MotoGP™ finish in front of a cheering crowd.
Miller was not the only rider to fall as he exited Turn 4, returning Dani Pedrosa also took a tumble there. The Spaniard was unhurt and remounted to finish in 16th, some 15 seconds out of the points. Stefan Bradl was another early faller as he continues to adapt to the Yamaha Forward machine. Both Aleix Espargaro and Karel Abraham were forced into the pits with technical issues, ending their races early.
- From MotoGP.com
Tuesday, 19 May 2015 10:47 Published in Reports, Results & Points
@DucatiMotor • Ducati is pleased to announce the launch of the 2015 Ducati Experience Tour, a series of exciting test ride events making their way across Canada, bringing our amazing 2015 Ducati line up to a dealership near you!
Wednesday, 13 May 2015 13:04 Published in News
Cupertino, Calif. (April 24, 2015) • @DucatiUSA • The Scrambler is out of the yellow container and has arrived at dealerships all over North America, along with Ducati’s new 205 horsepower flagship Superbike: the 1299 Panigale. Also arriving just in time for summer, the all-new Multistrada 1200 DVT will be rolling off the production line soon. These three motorcycles are the most significant additions to the Ducati family in years and can all be seen at local Ducati showrooms, which can be found through the dealer locator at www.ducati.com.
Scrambler: Sky-high pre-orders for the Scrambler set the tone for the much buzzed-about retro model, which began arriving at dealerships in April. With an MSRP starting at just $8,495 in the U.S., $9,295 in Canada and $129,990 in Mexico, the vintage-inspired aesthetic of the iconic Ducati motorcycle pays tribute to the brand’s heritage while providing riders with a contemporary twist and new-generation components, such as front and rear LED lighting, LCD instruments and a hidden USB port to charge mobile devices. With endless options for personalization, the modern reinterpretation of the classic boasts four distinct iterations: Icon, Urban Enduro, Classic and Full Throttle, and marks a return to the pure essence and joy of motorcycling.
1299 Panigale: Also arriving at showrooms is the latest addition to the Superbike family – the 1299 Panigale. Its category-leading technology and state-of-the-art electronics are being touted as some of the most advanced in the world, and build upon the engineering and design achievements that were introduced with the 1199. Built to exhilarate its riders, the 1299’s potent package boasts unprecedented engine power and responsiveness suitable for street and track riding alike.
Multistrada 1200 DVT: The Multistrada 1200 DVT – a bike that revolutionized the motorcycling world when it was launched in 2010 – has undergone a complete redesign, cementing its place as a game-changer in the sport-touring category. The 2015 model is equipped with an unprecedented combination of torque, horsepower, and low fuel consumption and sets new electronics benchmarks as the first motorcycle in the industry to feature Desmodromic Variable Timing (DVT). Already the ultimate “four bikes in one,” the all-new Multistrada now includes electronic cruise control as a standard feature, and is a game-changer across the board.
Additional information, including participating dealers and availability can be found at www.ducati.com.
Friday, 24 April 2015 13:51 Published in Industry News
Ducati North America invited the Canadian media to the San Francisco Bay area in mid-March for a press test involving seven of the brand’s latest models.
Tuesday, 14 April 2015 10:18 Published in Feature Stories
April 12, 2015- The second 18-lap race at MotorLand Aragon, run in much warmer conditions, was won by Briton Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team), after a dominating performance.
Sunday, 12 April 2015 17:50 Published in Reports, Results & Points
The Leod Escapes 'Italian Backroads to Mugello' tour runs June 12 to June 19. The Ducati Rider Experience at Mugello is sold out but Leod has had a riding couple cancel. So it’s time to grab the opportunity.
Thursday, 09 April 2015 09:37 Published in Products
Borgo Panigale - Bologna (Italy), 23 March 2015 – Preparations are complete for the 2015 edition of the Ducati Dream Tour which incorporates a series of three-day travel experiences put together specifically to enable riders to enjoy the emotions of riding a Ducati while exploring the most exciting and beautiful roads of the Tuscan-Emilian hills and mountains.
Tuesday, 24 March 2015 15:50 Published in News
Sepang, Malaysia (February 24, 2015)-Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team) made further progress today on the second day of pre-season IRTA testing at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia, and after just two days on the new bike both men said that they were very satisfied with the progress being made.
Tuesday, 24 February 2015 13:10 Published in Reports, Results & Points
Exactly one week after its world premiere at the Ducati Auditorium in Borgo Panigale, the new Desmosedici GP15 took to the track today in the IRTA tests at Sepang International Circuit, for the first time in the hands of the two factory Ducati Team riders. Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone first completed a few laps on their usual GP14.3 bikes, which had been used in the Sepang 1 tests at the start of February, before stepping onto their new machines for the first time.
Monday, 23 February 2015 12:54 Published in Industry News