For the second time in two weeks Spanish MotoGP rider Jorge Lorenzo finished as the winner again. After emerging a runaway champion in the Spanish GP at Jerez, Lorenzo followed that up with top finish at Le Mans’ French GP. The famed international Le Mans circuit had over 90,000 spectators on Sunday to watch the Spaniard execute a commanding performance. It was a great day for Yamaha as well since Jorge Lorenzo’s Yamaha Movistar team-mate and 2015 championship leader Valentino Rossi took the second place to make it 1-2 for their team. The third spot on the podium was taken by Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso, who has been having a highly consistent run this season with a fairly well controlled performance. Defending champion Marc Marquez had to settle for the fourth place and he has slipped too far behind Rossi in the championship battle. On the other hand, Lorenzo’s win at Le Mans has brought him within 15 points of Rossi’s total of 102.
In the qualifying, Marc Marquez had claimed pole position on Saturday and he looked for a better finish in the main event on Sunday. Conditions for practice sessions at Le Mans were not ideal as surfaces had become a bit greasy after heavy rain between the third and fourth sessions but Marquez still managed to beat Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo. Though Marquez himself had a wild slide on his first at Turn 10, he bounced back smartly to improve his time later. After Dovizioso and Lorenzo, the fourth and fifth qualifying spots were taken by Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Iannone. Veteran rider Valentino Rossi yielded the sixth spot to Englishman Bradley Smith but finished ahead of Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa, who was returning to the track after injury. Danilo Petrucci of Pramac Racing was 9th and Aleix Espargaro of Suzuki rounded up the top 10.
As the race began on Sunday, Lorenzo made a great start from the third place on the grid to and very soon he went past Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso. Marquez, who had begun at the top, swerved too deep into the Dunlop chicane providing a gilded opportunity to Lorenzo to overtake him as well. Once Lorenzo went in front, he was on his way. Marquez tried to pull ahead and briefly regained the lead but the determined Lorenzo once again found a chance to move in front. After that it was merely a repeat of Lorenzo’s commanding performance of the Spanish GP at Jerez. The poor start from Marc Marquez, despite the top pole position added more woes to Repsol Honda camp as team-mate Dani Pedrosa crashed in the seventh lap. Pedrosa had been absent in previous sessions because of injury but met with poor luck in the returning race at Le Mans. To the credit of Pedrosa, he got up and resumed to finally finish at the 18th place. As the race progressed, it was Rossi’s turn to go past Marquez. The defending champion was having a bad day as he dropped even behind Bradley Smith and Cal Crutchlow. With Lorenzo a shade ahead of Dovizioso, the Ducati rider tried to put the Spaniard under pressure from behind. But after third of the race, when Rossi left the other Ducati man Iannone in his wake, Lorenzo ran ahead leaving Rossi and Dovizioso fighting for the second place. It was only a matter of time, thereafter, that Rossi would overtake Dovizioso and the two Yamahas ran neck-to-neck for a while. Finally good control from Lorenzo ensured that he stayed 1.8 seconds ahead of Rossi at the finish line. Dovizioso completed his race at the third place while Marquez beat Iannone for the fourth spot. Tech 3 riders Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro took sixth and seventh places and Pramac Racing’s Yonny Hernandez and Danilo Petrucci were eighth and tenth while Suzuki’s Maverick Vinales finished ninth. The riders will now move to Mugello for the Italian GP on Sunday 29th May, 2015.
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