2014 Le Mans MotoGP Results
Spoiler Alert – 2014 MotoGP results from Le Mans Bugatti listed below
For the 27th time, Grand Prix racing headed to Le Mans. And under unusual sunny conditions Sunday at the French circuit that hosts the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans, the man who continues to top the headlines put in his most impressive performance so far this season.
The man – or should we say kid? – Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez. He entered Le Mans MotoGP with a perfect record, the 21-year-old Spaniard winning the opening four rounds from the pole.
The factory Honda RC213V pilot then led three of four free practices at Le Mans, and shattered the qualifying record by over six-tenths of a second. Marquez led warm-up, and carried this momentum into the 28-lap Grand Prix, taking his fifth win of 2014 MotoGP.
But this wasn’t an easy win for Marquez; he would fall back to ninth on the opening lap. After charging through the field, he would take the lead with 16 to go, eventually finishing over a second ahead of Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi. Taking the final podium position – his first of 2014 – was GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista.
Starting from third on the grid, Ducati Team’s Andrea Doviziso got to turn one of 14 first at the 2.6-mile Bugatti circuit. He was followed by LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl, Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Pol Espargaro and Rossi.
On turn two ahead of the Dunlop chicane during the opening lap, Drive M7 Aspar Honda’s Nicky Hayden and Pramac Ducati’s Andrea Iannone contacted each other, and Hayden crashed out. A lap latter, Iannone lost the front of his GP14, also crashing out.
Not getting his usual good start, Marquez got bunched in the middle behind Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo. And heading into turn 8, known as Garage Vert, Lorenzo stood his bike up, forcing Marquez to run wide and fall back into ninth.
On the second lap, Bradl was battling with Dovi for the lead, but the 35-year-old Rossi – a nine-time World Champion – was putting on the pressure. Behind, Marquez took eight from his teammate Dani Pedrosa, who won at a wet Le Mans last season. And up front, Rossi took second from Bradl.
The Italian Rossi immediately attached his fellow countryman Dovi, and an intense battle began, the two swapping the lead a few times. But Rossi got the best of Dovi, and by lap three he was comfortably out front.
As for Marquez, he began picking off the riders ahead of him. First it was Bautista for seventh, then Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Bradley Smith for sixth, and Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo for fifth. Meanwhile, Dovizioso struggled on the Ducati GP14, eventually falling back to eight with 20 to go.
Marquez passed Lorenzo at the Dunlop chicane, and duplicated the inside move on Bradl and Espargaro to get into second with 18 to go. Two laps later, Marquez was directly behind the YZR-M1 piloted by Rossi.
Rossi then made a mistake at the Blue esses, running wide. This allowed Marquez easily take the lead with 16 to go.
Marquez then began his usual front-position ways, and immediately opened up a gap. He would lead as much as 3.5 seconds during the final laps.
At race’s end, Marquez would finish 1.486 seconds ahead of Rossi, which was VR46’s third second-place finish of 2014 MotoGP. Taking the final podium position – his first of 2014 – was Bautista.
The rookie Pol Espargaro would take fourth, his best finish of MotoGP, just ahead of Pedrosa. Lorenzo continued to struggle aboard the factory YZR-M1, finishing sixth. Rounding out the top 10 were Bradl, Dovizioso, NGM Forward Racing’s Aleix Espargaro and Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Bradley Smith.
With Hayden crashing out on the opening lap, only one American finished the race – NGM Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards. The Texan had mechanical issues on the final lap, and would literally push his Yamaha across the line for 17th.
With his win, Marquez continues garnering records. He is now the youngest rider to win five consecutive races, taking the 1962 record held by Mike Hailwood (then 22-years old).
Marquez is now the first rider since Mick Doohan to win five successive races from the pole (Doohan won 10 successive races from the pole in 1997 aboard a Honda). Marquez also became the first rider since Giacomo Agostini (MV Agusta, 1972) to win the opening five races of the year in the premier class.
After five of 18 rounds, Marquez has a perfect 125 points, 42 ahead of teammate Pedrosa and 44 ahead of Rossi. Dovi is in fourth, 71 points behind, and Lorenzo fifth, 80 points behind.
The series now breaks for a week before heading to Mugello for the Grand Prix of Italy.
2014 Le Mans MotoGP Results:
|1||25||93||Marc MARQUEZ||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||159.5||44’03.925|
|2||20||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||159.4||+1.486|
|3||16||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||SPA||GO&FUN Honda Gresini||Honda||159.3||+3.144|
|4||13||44||Pol ESPARGARO||SPA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||159.3||+3.717|
|5||11||26||Dani PEDROSA||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||159.3||+4.077|
|6||10||99||Jorge LORENZO||SPA||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||159.1||+7.088|
|7||9||6||Stefan BRADL||GER||LCR Honda MotoGP||Honda||158.8||+11.527|
|8||8||4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||158.2||+22.103|
|9||7||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||SPA||NGM Forward Racing||Forward Yamaha||158.1||+22.626|
|10||6||38||Bradley SMITH||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||158.1||+23.108|
|11||5||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||Ducati Team||Ducati||158.0||+25.780|
|12||4||45||Scott REDDING||GBR||GO&FUN Honda Gresini||Honda||157.2||+39.523|
|13||3||68||Yonny HERNANDEZ||COL||Energy T.I. Pramac Racing||Ducati||157.0||+42.544|
|14||2||7||Hiroshi AOYAMA||JPN||Drive M7 Aspar||Honda||157.0||+42.736|
|15||1||17||Karel ABRAHAM||CZE||Cardion AB Motoracing||Honda||156.2||+56.644|
|16||70||Michael LAVERTY||GBR||Paul Bird Motorsport||PBM||155.2||+1’14.123|
|17||5||Colin EDWARDS||USA||NGM Forward Racing||Forward Yamaha||154.8||+1’19.723|
|18||23||Broc PARKES||AUS||Paul Bird Motorsport||PBM||154.2||+1’30.934|
|19||63||Mike DI MEGLIO||FRA||Avintia Racing||Avintia||154.0||+1’34.521|
|29||Andrea IANNONE||ITA||Pramac Racing||Ducati||148.9||27 Laps|
|8||Hector BARBERA||SPA||Avintia Racing||Avintia||141.8||27 Laps|
|Not Finished 1st Lap|
|69||Nicky HAYDEN||USA||Drive M7 Aspar||Honda||0 Lap|
2014 MotoGP Point Standings after five of 18 rounds:
|8||Aleix ESPARGARO||Forward Yamaha||SPA||37|
|18||Colin EDWARDS||Forward Yamaha||USA||7|