MotoGP in Le Mans


12.05.2024

Sprint


The Ducati Lenovo Team has scored a fourth-place finish in today’s sprint race at Le Mans courtesy of a superb performance by Enea Bastianini, who managed to make his way back to fourth from tenth place on the grid, while coming very close to a podium result at the end of the 13-lap encounter. Francesco Bagnaia retired from the race in the early stages after starting from second place.

Following an unfortunate end to Q2, which saw him deprived of a last time attack due to a yellow flag situation, Bastianini had a good start to the race from row four as he immediately made up one place and showed a competitive pace aboard his Desmosedici GP machine #23. As soon as he reached fifth position and with clear track ahead of him, Enea’s rhythm improved further in the second half of the race. In the final stages, he gave it all to bridge the gap to Viñales for third place, eventually crossing the line fourth with a 0.6secs gap from his rival.

After lining up on the grid with the spare bike, following his late crash in Q2, Bagnaia lost several positions at the start as he dropped all the way down to fifteenth after the first few corners of the race. At the end of lap three, Pecco made his way back to the pits, ultimately retiring from the encounter.

Tomorrow’s, 27-lap race for the French GP will get underway at 14:00 local time (GMT +2).

Enea Bastianini (#23 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 4th
“My pace in this sprint race was very good, I was consistently quick up to the chequered flag. What really made the difference is that I was able to overtake in a much easier way than previous races and that surely give me something extra. This is a key thing for the future. It would have been nice to battle with Jorge (Martín) but never say never, let’s see how it goes tomorrow. We’re all very close in terms of performance so the race will be a hard-fought one, as is the championship after all.”

Francesco Bagnaia (#1 Ducati Lenovo Team) – DNF
“Unfortunately these things can happen, but it surely wasn’t easy. Already from the warmup lap I felt something was different and I felt like it was difficult to do anything. The team is at work to understand what happened, but we’ll surely be good tomorrow and ready to do well. We’ve already shown we can be competitive this weekend and our pace is top-three worthy. We’re aware of our potential and we know that with a good start and the right feeling, we can battle for the win.”

Race


The Ducati Lenovo Team scored a podium finish at Le Mans with Francesco Bagnaia, third at the line and among the protagonists of an exciting battle for the win with other Ducati riders Martín and Márquez. Enea Bastianini put together a superb comeback in the latter stages of the race as he was fourth at the finish line despite having to serve a long-lap penalty at halfway point in the encounter.

Bagnaia enjoyed a perfect start from second place on the grid as he moved up to first position at the exit of the first chicane. The reigning world champion stayed in the lead until eight laps left, as he tried to break the group behind him. As the race entered its final stages, Martín and Bagnaia were joined by Márquez in the battle for the win, with the latter eventually able to edge out Pecco for second place on the last lap.

From tenth place on the grid, Bastianini managed to make up four positions at the start and stayed with the leading group in the first half of the encounter. The rider #23 then had to serve a long-lap penalty following an overtaking manoeuvre on Espargaró, which cost him three positions. Enea reacted in an excellent way, setting the new race lap record (1:31.107) and making his way back to fourth at the chequered flag.

As the French GP draws to a close, Bagnaia is currently second in the championship standings, 38 points in arrears of leader Martín, while Bastianini sits fourth - two points shy of his teammate. The Ducati Lenovo Team leads the team standings with 180 points, with Ducati on top of the manufacturers’ standings (170 points).

The Ducati Lenovo Team will be back in action in a fortnight’s time at the “Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya”.

Francesco Bagnaia (#1 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 3rd
“You can never be fully satisfied if you don’t win, but it was a good race. I managed to recover the feeling from yesterday, but I didn’t feel as competitive as the other two, as they clearly had something extra today. We surely have to keep working, but generally speaking the weekend went well – sprint race aside – as we have always been competitive and fast. It was important to finish the race here at Le Mans after the results of the last two seasons here, so I’m happy about this. In the final stages, I tried to stay as close as I could to Martín in order to try and pass him at turn 13, but Marc was really strong in the third sector, and he used his speed to his advantage in order to have the better of me.”

Enea Bastianini (#23 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 4th
“Obviously I cannot be fully happy with today as I could have done a lot more, so I’m a little disappointed. We had the speed this weekend, but something didn’t go our way and surely that long-lap penalty did penalise us a lot. It all happened because I was in a rush to pass Aleix as I saw the others at the front were starting to push a bit harder. I didn’t make any calculation, I simply saw the chance and tried to take it. Problem is, as it happened on other occasions, I struggle to get the bike stopped when upright, so I ended up wide. I was ready to give the position back, but then I saw him off track and that made it impossible. In any case, I wasn’t expecting a long-lap penalty.”


Gallery:



Race results

Pos.Nr.DriverTeamBikeTime
1 89 J. Martin 41:23.709
2 93 M. Marquez +0.446
3 1 F. Bagnaia +0.585
4 23 E. Bastianini +2.206
5 12 M. Viñales +4.053
6 49 F. Di Giannantonio +9.480
7 21 F. Morbidelli +9.868
8 33 B. Binder +10.353
9 41 A. Espargaro +11.392
10 73 A. Marquez +13.442
11 25 R. Fernandez +24.201
12 5 J. Zarco +26.809
13 37 A. Fernandez +27.426
14 30 T. Nakagami +30.026
15 42 A. Rins +30.936
16 10 L. Marini +40.000
DNF 88 M. Oliveira
DNF 43 J. Miller
DNF 20 F. Quartararo
DNF 36 J. Mir
DNF 72 M. Bezzecchi
DNF 31 P. Acosta

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