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MotoGP: French Grand Prix Preview

Written by Owen Bradley, Edited by Sasha Macmillen

Credit: Steve Wobser

MotoGP returns to north-eastern France and a circuit which has hosted many classic races in recent times. Who could forget the fantastic battle between Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner in 2012? Or perhaps Alex Marquez’ first ever podium in the premier class, back in 2020 with Repsol Honda.

The Circuit

MotoGP races on the Bugatti circuit layout at Le Mans, not the full endurance circuit. The Bugatti circuit consists of 14 corners, all with a great variety of heavy braking zones, particularly down into Turn 2 and Turn 7, and also some fast, flat-out corners like Turn 1.

The circuit can be extremely difficult, with the heavy braking zone of turn 2 a corner to watch out for this weekend, as we have seen many crashes down there.

MotoGP is also running sprint races for the first time in its history, and therefore it is the first time we will ever see a sprint race around the Le Mans circuit, which could produce some unique and interesting opportunities for certain riders who don’t have much to lose at this stage of the season.

Riders to Watch

Home heroes Fabio Quartararo and Johann Zarco will be who the toast of the French crowd all weekend, and both of them will be looking to deliver a great performance in front of their adoring audience, particularly Fabio Quartararo, who has had a difficult start to 2023 so far. Zarco is aboard an extremely powerful Ducati, and therefore should be among the frontrunners this weekend.

Credit: Steve Wobser

Francesco Bagnaia will be another of those leading Ducati’s, and as the championship leader - is the favourite heading into this weekend, especially after taking victory in Jerez at the last round. Teammate Enea Bastianini will be sitting out for another round, which means Danilo Petrucci will return to the Ducati squad for a wildcard race.

The VR46 Duo of Marco Bezzecchi and Luca Marini will also be force to be reckoned with come Sunday, particularly Bezzecchi, who has had a stellar start to the 2023 season, and is the closest championship rival to Bagnaia, lying 18 points behind the leader in the standings. Luca Marini is also doing a good job this year, and scored his first podium at the American GP earlier this season.

The VR46 Riders Academy have also been training throughout the week, with Valentino Rossi - so they should all be well in top-form.

Marc Marquez returns to the MotoGP grid as well. After that nightmarish opening round in Portugal, the eight-time world champion will be hoping to secure some points this time around, and all eyes will be on how his medical procedures have gone, and how fast he can be.

Well, we’re all set for what should be a great race in Le Mans, it historically has thrown up some seriously great action, and will throw some more our way this weekend.

In the UK, you can watch MotoGP live on BT Sport, this Sunday at 1pm.

Have a great weekend, and if you want more MotoGP-related action, then the Ex-MotoGP Legend, Valentino Rossi, will be driving in the highly competitive GT World Challenge Europe round at Brands Hatch, which you can watch on YouTube or Sky Sports F1.

In the meantime, If you haven't already, be sure to subscribe to the Divebomb YouTube channel!

1 comment

1 Comment

May 12, 2023

Should be a good race, not much low speed at Le Mans, tends to favour momentum and corner speed rather than the stand it up, point and squirt nature of some other tracks. That may close the field up a little, or at least throw up a few variables. It certainly should help negate a bit of the disparity that is perhaps present in the current bikes general performance. I will be hoping Aleix can get his year going properly !

Blatant favoritism but hey..... nicest guy in Moto GP.

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