2015 Le Mans MotoGP Press Conference
Following a weekend-break of racing, the 2015 MotoGP Championship continues this week at the famed Le Mans Bugatti Circuit in France.
Round five of 2015 MotoGP officially began Thursday with the pre-race press conference. This one was a bit different, though. Two separate conferences were held – one featuring MotoGP pilots alongside the current Moto2 points leader, the Frenchman Johann Zarco, and another featuring the top-four Moto3 riders.
Present at the MotoGP conference was the current points leader, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi, along with Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo, the reigning MotoGP Champion, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez, and Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Pol Espargaro.
Rossi enters Le Mans – one of the tightest circuits on the 2015 MotoGP Calendar – with a 15-point lead over over Dovizioso, who finished 2-2-2-9 so far this season.
Rossi has three-premier class wins at Le Mans – a circuit that caters to Yamaha YZF-R1 machinery – and will seek his third win of 2015: “It’s been a great start to the season, especially for the 2 victories and because I was always on the podium, which is important for the championship.
“Jorge started with difficulty but his performance in Jerez was fantastic – fastest from Friday to Saturday. Jorge is always fast in Le Mans, historically it’s a good track for the Yamaha too. Last year Marc was faster, but we have to see if this year we are closer. “It’s not my best track, there’s not a lot of grip and the weather is an issue: cold in the mornings and low temperature in the afternoon. This means you have to use soft tyres for grip.”
Though he never won at Le Mans – and neither has a Ducati – Dovizioso has seven GP-career podiums in France, and a win in the former 125cc class. He and teammate Andrea Iannone just returned from Mugello where the Ducati Team held a two-day private test.
“The Mugello test was important, at Jerez we went the wrong way with testing & we weren’t so competitive. I’m happy now because we come here with a much better feel than in Jerez,” Dovi says.
Lorenzo enters Le Mans after a dominating performance at Jerez, where he took his first win of 2015. He claimed four wins in Le Mans: “In Jerez everything was perfect from the beginning. Le Mans is a new story, anything can change. But at Jerez I was good on corner entry, if I can keep this feeling at Le Mans I can be competitive.
“Le Mans is a good track for Yamaha historically, last year Marc was strong, but we still finished on the podium. This year the Yamaha is better & I think we have a big chance.”
As for the reigning MotoGP Champion, Marquez says he’s not a huge fan of Le Mans, but he did earn his first pole there and his first Moto2 victory.
“Six years ago I got my first pole position here. My first Moto2 victory was here too. I don’t like it a lot but normally I get good results,” Marquez says. “Last year I arrived here in a very different position, but we have 14 races left so there is no panic.”
Marquez also spoke of his healing finger: “My finger is at 100 percent, it’s a bit bigger than usual [laughs], but I have the power in it back.”
Pol Espargaro was the next to speak; he earned the best result of his rookie season last year with a fourth at the Grand Prix of France: “In Jerez we recovered some confidence and I think we have a good feeling to come to the home GP for the team. We hope it will be close to last year. I like the track – I have good results here in 125 & Moto2 and last year in MotoGP I had surprising results. We will try to repeat it!”
French Moto2 rider Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) joined the conference as a special guest to share his excitement over racing in his home Grand Prix, especially due to the fact that it has been 11 years since a French rider arrived for the French GP leading the world championship: “I don’t have too much pressure, 16 points advantage is good and I want to keep this mindframe and enjoy being on the bike.”
The Moto3 top four spoke in a special press conference held in Le Mans today. Just 44 points separate Danny Kent (GBR), Efren Vazquez (SPA), Fabio Quartararo (FRA) and Enea Bastianini (ITA), who respectively sit at the head of the standings. Kent has a comfortable 31 point lead, while the following 3 are separated by just 13 points, MotoGP reports.
For more, visit 2015 Le Mans MotoGP Preview.