Round 5 of the 2016 MotoGP season was held over the weekend as the Grand Prix of France was held at the famed Le Mans track. If we go back and look at the list of usual suspects we started with at the beginning of the season, the same four racers still hold down the top four points position. The glitch in the formula this weekend was a crash by Marc Marquez which resulted in a 13th place finish and a 3 point weekend. Jorge Lorenzo was fastest in practice and was fastest in the race leading by over 10 seconds at the checkered flag. Showing increasing presence this season is Team Suzuki Ecstar placing two riders in the top 6. What did the fellows have to say for the effort?
Jorge Lorenzo 1st – overall point position 2nd
I’m very happy with this victory, because everything has been almost perfect. In the race I knew Marquez had the chance to fight for the victory with me, or if he wasn’t very fast, he would have been second or third and that would have meant he would still have kept his first position in the championship, but he crashed. Now in the championship three riders scored zero or very little points in one race, so in some way we are starting the championship from zero again after those races, but with us being five points ahead.
Valentino Rossi 2nd -overall points position 3rd
I started quite badly from the third row so at the beginning it was very complicated. I had a quite good pace so I was able to push and I was quite fast, but you have to stay quiet because it was very easy to make some mistakes. Step by step I arrived to the back of Marquez and Dovi and at that moment I was a bit faster. I’m so happy, because when you start from seventh position and you take twenty points it’s very good, also because they are twenty very important points. In the championship I’m twelve points behind Jorge and seven behind Marc. This means that between us three the championship is wide open and we have to concentrate. I’m just third at this moment, so I have to think race by race and especially think of Mugello and try to be competitive there.
Dani Pedrosa 4th – overall point position 4th
I cannot feel satisfied with today’s fourth place because obviously I would prefer be much higher up the order and have better races. I give my all, but the conditions are not always there to do well. We are also making some mistakes, and one that is hurting us most is in qualifying, because starting far back makes things more difficult in the race. At the beginning of the race today we did not have good grip and it was hard to get enough of a feeling to go a little faster. The second part of the race went better, and there were some laps in which I even rode quicker than Rossi’s pace, but it was too late. What makes a difference is starting well, starting high up on the grid and putting in good opening laps.
Marc Marquez 13th – overall point position 1st
It was a pity about the crash today. I was having a good race, but these things can happen when you’re at the limit on every lap. I could have opted for a more conservative race, but here you can end up far back if you do that, so today I had to take risks. In the race I saw that I was losing ground under acceleration, and I had to make that back with my braking. Finally I lost the front and crashed. The positive is that I managed to get three points and I’m only five off Jorge Lorenzo in the standings, which isn’t a lot. Now we have a run of tracks that we found a little tough last year, but they’re quite different to Jerez and Le Mans, so I hope to be fast and have some good races.