Spoiler Alert: 2017 Le Mans MotoGP results and recap listed below.The battle for MotoGP supremacy between the factory Honda and Yamaha teams continued Sunday at the French Grand Prix, round five of 18.
The season began with Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Vinales winning the two opening rounds in Qatar and Argentina, respectively. The Repsol Honda boys fought back at the next two rounds, though, Marc Marquez claiming another impressive win on American soil at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas, and teammate Dani Pedrosa claiming the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez two weeks ago.Although he didn’t claim a victory in the opening four rounds, three podium finishes placed nine-time World Champion in the points lead ahead of the French Grand Prix at the Le Mans Bugatti Circuit.Rossi was among the favorites for podium contingency, considering the Italian claimed runner-up finishes the past three years. And it looked like he would accomplish second or the win until the final lap of 28.While battling with teammate and pole-man Vinales, Rossi crashed out at turn 11, allowing Vinales to take an easy third win of the season, and his third at Le Mans across all classes.This last-lap drama also helped Vinales claim the points lead once again. The other big news was when Marquez tucked the front of his RC213V at the fast turn two with 11 laps to go. This was the reigning MotoGP Champions second DNF, his other due to a crash at Argentina.Finishing second at Le Mans MotoGP was home favorite Johann Zarco on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3, the Frenchman showing promise since Friday practice. Taking the final podium position was Pedrosa.When the race began, Vinales got to turn one first, but Zarco showed his YZR-M1’s strength, and got out front on turn three. Zarco was followed by Vinales and Rossi, and by lap four these three were breaking away from the man in fourth, Marquez.Vinales took back the lead at turn three of lap seven, and him and Zarco began pulling away. Behind, Pedrosa was ascending through the field, and was into fifth from 13th with 16 laps to go.Rossi started gaining some momentum, and with six laps to go he passed Zarco at turn three. From there, the 38-year-old Italian began gaining time on Vinales, from being 0.8 of a second back to making a pass with three laps to go.It was like a Rossi vs. Lorenzo days, but with new teammate Vinales. Rossi passed Vinales at the Dunlop Chicane (turn three), but Vinales wasn’t giving up. On the penultimate lap, Vinales was staying calm, waiting for a mistake from the nine-time World Champion.This mistake arrived on the final lap when Rossi ran wide at Turn 8, allowing Vinales to slip through the inside. Rossi recovered quickly, but crashed out at turn 11, ending his chances of a fourth podium this season.Zarco claimed second, 3.134 seconds back. This was the rookie’s first podium finish in MotoGP. Pedrosa finished in a lonely seventh, 7.717 seconds behind Vinales.Behind, Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso fought off LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow for fourth. Taking sixth was Ducati Team’s Jorge Lorenzo, who finished ahead of Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Jonas Folger.Rounding out the top 10 were Marc VDS Honda’s Jack Miller, who suffered a huge crash on Saturday, Reale Avintia Racing Ducati’s Loris Baz and Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Andrea Iannone.Pol Espargaro claimed the top finishing position for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing with 12th, and Sam Lowes the top finish for Aprilia Racing Team Gresini with 14th.With his win, Vinales moves into the points lead with 85, 17 ahead of Pedrosa. Rossi fell back to third, 23 points behind Vinales and four ahead of Marquez.The 2017 MotoGP Championship breaks for two weeks ahead of Rossi’s home race at Mugello, the GP of Italy.
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Motos and Friends, the weekly podcast brought to you by Ultimate Motorcycling. My name is Arthur Coldwells.
Motos and Friends is brought to you by Yamaha. You can check out the amazing YZF-R7 at your local Yamaha dealer, or of course at YamahaMotorsports.com. The YZF-R7 is an amazing supersport machine that is comfortable too!
In this week’s first segment, Editor Don Williams takes the smallest BMW ADV bike on an urban adventure in Los Angeles. The BMW G 310 GS is a full size motorcycle with a modest engine, so of course we wonder if it is a little too underpowered and might struggle. Don put it through its paces and gives us his take.
In the second segment, Neale Bayly and Kiran Ridley have returned from the Ukraine to Paris where Kiran is based.
Kiran is an award winning photojournalist, and as an accomplished documentarian, he has covered stories as diverse as drug smuggling around the Mexican border, to the devastation of the Australian Bush Fires, to the tragedy of the Mediterranean migration crisis. Neale and Kiran reminisce about their motorcycle adventure in the Ukraine, and their observations and experiences with the incredibly resilient people of Ukraine, who have been put through such brutal hardship.