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Le Mans 45 Minute Endurance Race - MotoGP Round 5 Preview

Up and out of the Iberian Peninsula for round five, as the 2015 championship visits northern France, for a race around a very famous race track.

Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images

If you're a fan of motorsport, you'll already know that it's bloody weird seeing bikes race around the Le Mans circuit, rather than the 24 hour GT cars that usually do their business there.

Fortunately for those who think four wheels should be religiously abided by, the bikes run on the smaller, inner track (called the Bugatti circuit) and not the full 24 hour track. Well, it would take a while to go round it.

Parts of the big circuit are used, but it's predominantly its own track. It's a fun weekend, and the races are pretty good.

Here's a lap on board a Yamaha to show you round.

In The News

  • Dani Pedrosa's back! He returns to ride his Repsol Honda after recovering from arm pump surgery.
  • That said, Andrea Iannone may well be absent, having crashed during a private test in Mugello, and dislocating his shoulder. He'll be having some treatment before the weekend, and is expected to line up (because motorcyclists are mentalists) but there's a chance he won't be.
  • Le Mans is the site of the last Suzuki victory, and the only victory for Suzuki in the 4-stroke era, when Chris Vermeulen won in 2007. More GP facts for the weekend here.
  • Johann Zarco heads into his home GP at the top of the Moto2 pile, but he has never finished higher than fifth in Le Mans. He did a Q&A with MotoGP.com heading into the weekend, and you can find more stats about the Moto2 race here.
  • None of the current Moto3 field have won at Le Mans before, and championship leader Danny Kent (who I waxed lyrical about at this link) has never finished higher than 13th. Who's going to change that? Facts and stats here.

Last Time Out

MotoGP

Jorge Lorenzo claimed his first win of 2015, breezing the entire weekend and finishing five seconds ahead of Marc Marquez in second. Valentino Rossi was a very comfortable third, with Cal Crutchlow and Pol Espargaro rounding out the top five.

MotoGP Championship Top 5
# Rider Team Pts
1 Valentino Rossi Movistar Yamaha 82
2 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati RT 67
3 Jorge Lorenzo Movistar Yamaha 62
4 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda 56
5 Andrea Iannone Ducati RT 50

Moto2

Jonas Folger picked up his second win of the season, winning at a canter from Johann Zarco, who pipped Tito Rabat on the last corner. Thomas Luthi got his best finish of the year in fourth, with Xavier Simeon in fifth.

Moto2 Championship Top 5
# Rider Team Pts
1 Johann Zarco Ajo Kalex 73
2 Jonas Folger AGR Kalex 57
3 Alex Rins Paginas Amarillas HP 40 Kalex 49
4 Thomas Luthi Derendinger 43
5 Franco Morbidelli Italtrans RT Kalex 43

Moto3

Danny Kent. Danny Kent. Danny Kent. He said he wanted a race for a change, and he got one, but he still won, 0.097sec ahead of Miguel Oliveira in second, and a further two tenths up on Brad Binder. Fabio Quartararo was fourth, with Efren Vasquez two seconds back in fifth, in what actually seemed like a proper Moto3 race for once.

Moto3 Championship Top 5
# Rider Team Pts
1 Danny Kent Leopard Honda 91
2 Efren Vasquez Leopard Honda 60
3 Fabio Quartararo Estrella Galicia Honda 40
4 Enea Bastianini Gresini Honda 39
5 Brad Binder Red Bull KTM 44

Last Year In Le Mans

MotoGP
# Rider Time
1 Marc Marquez 44'03.925
2 Valentino Rossi +0'01.486
3 Alvaro Bautista +0'03.144
Moto2
# Rider Time
1 Mika Kallio 42'41.696
2 Simone Corsi +0'01.015
3 Tito Rabat +0'01.303
Moto3
# Rider Time
1 Jack Miller 41'30.582
2 Alex Rins +0'00.095
3 Isaac Viñales +0'00.230

Race Times

Qualifying
(Saturday)
Race
(Sunday)
MotoGP Q1
13:10-13:25 (BST)
08:10-08:35 (EST)

Q2
13:35-13:50 (BST)
08:35-08:50 (EST)
13:00 (BST)

08:00 (EST)
Moto2 14:05-14:50 (BST)
09:05-09:50 (EST)
11:20 (BST)
06:20 (EST)
Moto3 11:35-12:15 (BST)
06:35-07:15 (EST)
10:00 (BST)
05:00 (EST)