The combination of Maverick Viñales, his YZR-M1, and the French circuit proved to be a winning formula last year, when the youngster secured Yamaha it’s 500th Grand Prix win. He already realized a third place race result in 2016 and had his heart set on making it a podium hat-trick this weekend.
The Spaniard currently holds third place in the championship, 20 points behind the leader. After last week’s tests he approaches the competition in Le Mans with a positive mindset and he will be giving his all to bridge the margin to the top of the standings.
Valentino Rossi is eager to start the fifth round of the championship as he’s looking to set things right with the thousands of fans that visit the French MotoGP round each year. He was fighting for the win in last year’s race when he crashed out of second place. This year he is keen on a do-over, so he can step onto the French rostrum and celebrate with the crowds.
Traditionally, the Doctor scores competitive results at the Grand Prix de France. Throughout his premier class career he has collected three victories at Le Mans (2002, 2005 and 2008), six second places (2003, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016) and three third places (2000, 2001 and 2011). He currently sits in sixth place in the championship standings, 10 points behind his teammate.
The Bugatti Grand Prix race circuit was built in 1965 and is situated just a few kilometres from the city of Le Mans. MotoGP made its first visit to the iconic French track in the late sixties and it remained a fixture until 1996. After some safety moderations, the 4.2km-long circuit was added back on the calendar in 2000. Its lay-out of five left and nine right corners places the emphasis on late braking, hard acceleration, and rear-end traction, and promises to make for a great spectacle on Sunday.