Le Mans Weather
This weekend the MotoGP motorcycle racing teams visits Le Mans for the 23rd time. Part of the French circuit’s rich heritage (which has contributed to its somewhat infamous allure) is its unpredictability when it comes to weather. The French racing round has come under the wet weather flag to flag rule the last three years.
In 2007 a light shower in the early laps of the event brought out the flag, allowing riders to change to bikes fitted with rain tires. The light sprinkles turned to heavy rain, forcing bike changes for the entire field.
The following year, in 2008, the wet weather flag came out at the midway point. The only rider that came in to switch bikes however was Marco Melandri (Stoner made the switch but it was for mechanical reasons).
In 2009 the Le Mans race was the exact opposite of the 2007 event. It started wet and gradually dried out during the course of the race, forcing an interesting strategy of when teams decide to pull their riders in.
Overall, Valentino Rossi is the all-time premier class winner at Le Mans with 3 followed by a list of retired racing legends with 2 and other (active & non-active) riders with 1. Current points leader and teammate, Jorge Lorenzo, has 1 win but with fewer tries than Rossi.
The rain wreaks havoc with teams, riders and crew chiefs as they try to outsmart the weather gods, prompting decisions, which can prove either brilliant or disastrous.
The one constant; everyone has to deal with the same conditions.
All-Time: MotoGP/500cc Le Mans – Number of Wins
|2||Schwantz, Kevin||UNITED STATES|
|2||Spencer, Freddie||UNITED STATES|
|2||Sheene, Barry||GREAT BRITAIN|
|1||Lawson, Eddie||UNITED STATES|
|1||Mamola, Randy||UNITED STATES|
2010 Le Mans Rider Entry List (r=Rookie)
|USA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha|
Yamaha Tech 3
|SPA||Rizla Suzuki MotoGP||Suzuki|
|AUS||Ducati Marlboro Team||Ducati|
|SPA||Pramac Racing Team||Ducati|
|ITA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||Honda|
|USA||Ducati Marlboro Team||Ducati|