MotoGP, Le Mans Recap. Redding, Crutchlow make it a great weekend for british racing
The Grand Prix of Le Mans! And what a weekend for British racing it proved to be! Scott Redding‘s well deserved win for Marc VDS Team firmly embedded much excitement in me. The rain was now starting to fall as we came to the end of the Moto 2 race, and that meant only one thing, my excitement was not about to end! The race was going to be wet, and the riders were about to slip and slide!
On the front row of the grid we had Márquez, Lorenzo and oh yes, Ducati’s Dovizioso. On the second row we had Crutchlow, Bradl and Pedrosa. Behind those were Bautista, Rossi and Cal’s Yamaha Tech 3 team mate Bradley Smith.
So here we have it, the crowds were 81,000 strong and you could hear the cheers coming from all over the track. The bikes roar as the revs are up, the heads are down, the red light goes out, they are off!
I couldn’t believe my eyes! Was that a red bike? It sure was, Dovi lead the way with Lorenzo and Pedrosa short on his tail. Behind, Dovi’s team mate Nicky Hayden was taken by Rossi for 5th position in the second lap. Rossi is extremely hungry it seems and now he pushed forward towards Bradl. Rossi makes his move and goes down the inside moving his position up to 4th. So that’s 4 places in 3 Laps! Things are looking good!
Dovi is still up front and doing strong, he’s riding smooth and consistent, but so is Rossi and Cal! Spaces aren’t too far apart by this point and this really could be anybody’s race. However, what better ‘carrot in front of the donkey’ could there be for Rossi than his fellow Italian in pole position on his old Ducati ride, and his team mate Jorge Lorenzo in 2nd! He needs to get up to that 3rd position and he will!
25 laps to go and Cal is now closing in on Stephan Bradl, he’s taken Nicky and looks set to take this move, which now means Rossi’s being hunted, the for 3rd position is going to exciting for sure! While Cal is eating down the positions Dovi is being attacked by Pedrosa, he wants that pole position and is making it very clear up Dovi he is not going anywhere!
But does Dovi care? Does he chuff! He slams the door shut on Pedrosa’s overtake attempt and resumes position as leader of the pack!
So, 21 Laps to go and I see Rossi locking on to Lorenzo for 3rd, coming down through the Dunlop bridge and Rossi slams it on the inside of his team mate, Lorenzo seemed to be going conveniently wide and his rear tyre was wobbling all over! Was Lorenzo in trouble? Only time would tell, but I know who was in trouble, Dovi!
Pedrosa managed to take that pole position and was now pulling a bit of a gap, as Dovi goes backwards, Rossi comes forward, squashing in Lorenzo.
What a race this is people!! We now have 4 people going for the lead! Cal is coming for Rossi, Rossi coming for Lorenzo and OMG!! Now Pedrosa is after Dovi! The italian claims it back with 19 laps to go! And he’s not the only Italian to steal a position, Rossi now over takes Lorenzo and as if that wasn’t enough, Cal takes Lorenzo too! They’ve both managed to move him back to 5th and poor Jorge then gets over taken by Nicky Hayden making him 6th! I could clearly see that Lorenzo’s rear tyre wasn’t doing what it was supposed to be, he was sliding all over the place. I think it was best for him to ride smooth and within his capabilities if he wanted to stay on!
Rossi now starts to slow down a little, its seems today the Ducati’s are performing wonderfully and the Yamaha’s not so wonderfully! Rossi is now starting to have the same trouble as Lorenzo, it just seems like his grip isn’t there… This isn’t good, as Hayden was closing the gap on Crutchlow, and Crutchlow isn’t to far off Rossi! In fact! He’s nibbling away at his back tyre! It’s like he’s attached to him with a bungee cord, he just isn’t going away, and then we see it! Cal makes his move nice and easily takes the inside of Rossi! He does it confidently and smooth and makes the position hold. Absolutely outstanding riding being witness from Cal! Satellite bike eating up factory bikes yet again! Great stuff!
So where’s Marquez? 7th? Okay don’t be fooled I thought, the tracks drying up, the rains stopped and with 11 laps to go, this is more than ample time for him to get up front.
Behind Marquez Lorenzo was now under fire from Bautista, and to be honest, I thought Lorenzo wouldn’t put up too much of a fight due to his tyre situation and not being able to hold a single racing line. But…he isn’t letting it go! He’s fighting off Bautista to the best of his ability, every corner Bautista is trying to put it on the inside, its like cat and dog, but that old cat is still keeping agile .. Unlike his team mate Rossi, he’s really suffering now, Hayden’s hot on his tail, his back wheel is really unstable and much to my disappointment, there he goes! Poor Rossi slides over the track coming off his bike with 10 laps to go and now was for forced to get back into the race in 12th position!
Seconds prior to Rossi’s accident, Bradl suffered the same fate with a rather amusing low side! The cowboy couldn’t manage to get his foot out of that stirrup and he rode his bike side ways all the way to the gravel! But both riders were safe and unharmed!
So, now we are 8 laps to go and as I predicted earlier! Marquez was coming on strong, Hayden was in front of him but with the track drying he wasn’t hard to overtake, after a few good dry turns Márquez shut down the gap and made his move moving him to 4th!
6 Laps to go and Cal was eagerly waiting to move past Dovi, he had to make sure he did it right at this late stage of the race or he could lose a podium! He sees his advantage with only 4 laps to go, and he takes it, he makes it stick and he continues ahead nice and steady. This is absolutely wonderful for the British fans this weekend! We have all been so proud of Cal’s efforts and too see him perform like this is just fantastic! Now all he had to do was worry about Marquez who’s was rapidly closing down Dovi! 2 Laps to go and Márquez does what he intended! Now Cal needs to move it!
Last lap, can Cal he keep his 2nd position? Oh yessss he can!!! Pedrosa flys over the line in 1st followed by an extremely happy Crutchlow and Marquez!
Big dances and cheers are coming from my house! The excitement and thrill if the race has got everybody buzzing with energy! Another fantastic race by our boys this year!
But can I just say, well done to Dovi! Persistent all the way, hard fought and well deserved recognition that the Duc can actually do it!!
So the next round is at the heart if Italian racing! Where the parties last all night, the fans are crazy and the crowds go large! You guessed it, we are at the track of Mugello!
Until then, ciao for now
By Tracey Ann Daniels - MotoGP Correspondent for RTR Sports Marketing In the picture: Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo Picture from the web