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Discussion Starter #1
Well Jerez was certainly the JL99 show, can he repeat? Dani is BACK! Marc's finger is better, and Vale will be eager to win again! Dovi will be ready to challenge! The news today re Iannone was not good (dislocating his shoulder) in a priv test, however he is looking good to race at this point, they dont call him the Maniac for nothing lol.

About the circuit
Built in 1965 around the existing 24-Hour track, the Le Mans Bugatti Grand Prix race circuit lies 5km south of the city of Le Mans and 200km south-west of Paris. The venue has hosted Grand Prix since the late sixties but a serious accident to Spanish rider Alberto Puig in 1995 saw it struck off the calendar until 2000 whilst stringent safety improvements were carried out.

Le Mans is a tight track dominated by first gear corners that place the emphasis on late braking and hard acceleration, whilst rear end traction is also a key area. With the capacity to comfortably accommodate up to 100,000 spectators, the Bugatti circuit also plays host to the 24 hour truck race, the FIA GP2 Championship, French Touring Car and GT races.


Circuit Record:
1'33.548
Marc MARQUEZ (SPA)
2014

Current Points
1 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha ITA 82
2 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati ITA 67
3 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha SPA 62
4 Marc MARQUEZ Honda SPA 56
5 Andrea IANNONE Ducati ITA 50
6 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda GBR 47
7 Bradley SMITH Yamaha GBR 36
8 Aleix ESPARGARO Suzuki SPA 31
9 Pol ESPARGARO Yamaha SPA 26
10 Maverick VIÑALES Suzuki SPA 20
11 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati ITA 19
12 Scott REDDING Honda GBR 13
13 Yonny HERNANDEZ Ducati COL 12
14 Dani PEDROSA Honda SPA 10
15 Hector BARBERA Ducati SPA 10
16 Jack MILLER Honda AUS 6
17 Hiroshi AOYAMA Honda JPN 5
18 Nicky HAYDEN Honda USA 3
19 Loris BAZ Yamaha Forward FRA 2
20 Alvaro BAUTISTA Aprilia SPA 2
21 Stefan BRADL Yamaha Forward GER 1


2014 Podium
MM93
VR46
AB19


 

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Discussion Starter #2
All Times Eastern Time Zone

Thurs May 14
Press Conference PRESS 11:00 - 11:30

Friday May 15
Moto3 FP1 03:00 - 03:40
MotoGP FP1 03:55 - 04:40
Moto2 FP1 04:55 - 05:40
Moto3 FP2 07:10 - 07:50
MotoGP FP2 08:05 - 08:50
Moto2 FP2 09:05 - 09:50

Sat May 16
Moto3 FP3 03:00 - 03:40
MotoGP FP3 03:55 - 04:40
Moto2 FP3 04:55 - 05:40
Moto3 QP 06:35 - 07:15
MotoGP FP4 07:30 - 08:00
MotoGP Q1 08:10 - 08:25
MotoGP Q2 08:35 - 08:50
Moto2 QP 09:05 - 09:50
Press Conference PRESS 11:00 - 11:30

Sunday Mar 17
Moto3 WUP 02:40 - 03:00
Moto2 WUP 03:10 - 03:30
MotoGP WUP 03:40 - 04:00
Moto3 RAC 05:00
Moto2 RAC 06:20
MotoGP RAC 08:00
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Iannone: “I crashed and banged my left shoulder pretty hard
Andrea Iannone dislocates his left shoulder after a crash testing at Mugello, and will have to undergo treatment ahead of the French GP.
The Ducati Team rider, who was concluding a two day private test at the circuit, crashed at the Arrabbiata 2 corner bruising his left shoulder. Later in the afternoon he went for a medical check in Cattolica with Dr. Giuseppe Porcellini who diagnosed him as having dislocated his left shoulder. Over the next three days Iannone will follow treatment agreed with his specialist, with the aim of lining up for the start of the French GP at Le Mans.

Andrea Iannone:
“It was for sure an interesting test, because testing before a race is always useful, and we were able to evaluate some solutions that during the GPs we find it difficult to do. In the end it was a useful two-day test and I am happy with how I was doing, even though unfortunately today at the end of the session I crashed at Arrabbiata 2 and banged my left shoulder pretty hard. In any case I’m satisfied with the way we are working, especially because the bike is still new and so we need to try different solutions in order to find the best set-up.”

Pedrosa Blog: See you in Le Mans!
Now, finally, I can tell you that I will be in Le Mans this weekend…
In his official blog for repsol.com Dani Pedrosa announces his return to racing in Le Mans:

Hey everyone,
I’m really happy to be able to catch up with you on the blog today and give you some good news.

My recovery has gone well, I think I was right to be patient and take it slowly, and to respect the time frames that I needed. Now, finally, I can tell you that I will be in Le Mans this weekend.

The truth is that I’m really keen to get back on my motorbike, as I’m sure you can guess.

It’s not just about that, though. I’m also excited to get back to my team to work side by side with them again. They’re a great bunch.

I wanted to thank you again for the countless messages of support that you’ve all sent me. They’ve made the wait much easier, I can tell you that from the heart. You’ve always been with me. As you always remind me, I know I don’t walk alone!

Question of the week

Have you ever stopped to think, when a fan approaches you, that in reality you don’t know him but he does know a lot about you and sees you as a close friend?
Question from pacojaen

Hi pacojaen,

The truth is that I’ve not really thought about it like that, or stopped to think on it in detail. But it does affect me in another way, a more emotional way, the feeling of it more than thinking about it. I mean that I feel the affection, the closeness, the way that you act with me. And there’s so many of you now that it actually almost seems normal to me now, when actually it’s incredible. I feel that affection especially in the bad times, which shows that it’s sincere. And that touches me a great deal.

Speak to you all next week,

Dani
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Bridgestone to bring softest compound to Le Mans
Bridgestone announce the tyre compounds they will take to Le Mans as they look ahead to the #FrenchGP.
The fabled Le Mans circuit hosts round five of the 2015 MotoGP™ season, the venue now established as the regular venue of the French Grand Prix since the start of the millennium.

Bridgestone slick compounds: Front: Extra-soft, Soft & Medium; Rear: Extra-soft, Soft & Medium (Asymmetric)

Bridgestone wet tyre compounds: Soft (Main) & Hard (Alternative)

Measuring 4.2 kilometres in length, the Le Mans circuit features a ‘stop-and-go’ configuration with low-speed corners punctuated by a series of short straights. The layout places an emphasis on strong acceleration and braking performance, rather than outright corner speed. With cool temperatures likely and the tarmac being relatively low in grip, the circuit demands a good bike setup to ensure the tyres stay in their optimum operating range. The low temperatures and forces imposed on tyres means that the slick tyre allocation for this round uses Bridgestone’s softest rubber compounds to ensure quick warm-up, high grip and excellent temperature retention.

For Le Mans, Bridgestone’s rear slick tyre allocation for the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders will be the soft and medium asymmetric options, while the rest of the field will have access to the extra-soft and soft rear slicks. The front slick allocation for Le Mans will be the extra-soft, soft & medium compound options.

To ensure optimal performance in wet conditions, the main wet tyre for French Grand Prix is the soft compound although limited numbers of the alternative, hard compound wet tyre will also be available.

Hiroshi Yamada - Manager - Bridgestone Motorsport Department:
“It is always a pleasure coming to Le Mans as Bridgestone has shared in many memorable victories here, both in the competition and sole tyre supply eras, including some challenging races caused by unstable weather. The layout of this circuit features many acceleration and braking zones and overall is not so severe on tyres, so this is the first round when we are able to offer our extra-soft compound front and rear slicks. In recent years this circuit hasn’t favoured any particular manufacturer, so I hope to see many riders challenging for the podium this weekend. Although it is often cool and wet at Le Mans, our tyre allocation is designed to work over a wide range of temperatures and conditions, but of course I hope we can see another exciting race take place in dry conditions! This year we have two French riders in Mike and Loris participating in the MotoGP class so there is even more incentive for the local fans to come to Le Mans this weekend to enjoy the action.”

Shinji Aoki – Manager - Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department:
“Le Mans has a stop-and-go layout and overall, the lateral loads placed on the tyres at Le Mans are low compared to other circuits. Additionally, the tarmac is smooth and low in grip; therefore the French Grand Prix is the first occasion this year where we will offer the extra-soft front and rear slick options. The layout of the circuit means riders want tyres with good rear grip for acceleration out of the corners, and optimal stability from the front tyre for the many braking zones. Although the circuit is generally quite easy on tyres, the right shoulders of the rear tyre are placed under more stress than the left, particularly on the exit of turn nine. As a result, all of our asymmetric rear slicks for Le Mans feature harder rubber on the right shoulder.”
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Stronger’ Marquez heads for Le Mans MotoGP 12 May 2015
"We've been able to rest and now I'm feeling much stronger for this weekend” - Marc Marquez.

A 'stronger' reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez will continue his pursuit of Valentino Rossi and the 2015 title lead during this weekend's Le Mans round.

This time last year Marquez had won the opening four races and held a 28-point championship advantage, which he then extended by battling from tenth (after a mistake on the opening lap) to take the lead from Rossi at mid-distance.

The Repsol Honda star returns to France fourth in this year's championship and trailing Yamaha's Rossi by 26-points, having closed slightly on the Italian with second place to Jorge Lorenzo last time at Jerez.

That result was achieved just a week after surgery for a fractured left little finger and Marquez will be hoping that the extra healing time can help him fight for a second victory of the season on Sunday.

"Since Jerez we've been able to rest and now I'm feeling much stronger for this weekend,” Marquez said. “I visited Dr. Mir for a check-up and my finger is definitely improving and healing well.

“I haven't trained much this past week in order to give my finger a chance to restore back to 100%, which was our main goal.

“I like the Le Mans track, the weather is always changeable but last year it was really good and I took my first win in the MotoGP class, so let's hope it's the nice for us again this year!"
 

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MotoGP Le Mans: Rossi: Marc will be strong, but I'm confident 13 May 2015
MotoGP World Championship leader Valentino Rossi optimistic of his prospects at the fifth round of the series at Le Mans in France this weekend

Movistar Yamaha's Valentino Rossi expects Marc Marquez to be strong at Le Mans but the MotoGP World Championship leader himself is 'confident' of his prospects in France this weekend.

Rossi holds an advantage of 15 points heading into the fifth round of the championship over Andrea Dovizioso and is aiming for another rostrum on Sunday after claiming a record 200th career podium at Jerez.

“I'm happy to go to Le Mans, it is a nice track, but every year it's different. Usually it's a good race for us, Yamaha and me, but last year our competitors were very strong,” said Rossi.

“I imagine that Marc will also be strong this year, but I like this circuit, I like to ride here and our bike seems to go very well, especially on Sunday afternoon.

“This is a good thing, because we have to fight for the championship. In Jerez we didn't have a perfect weekend. Third place was positive, but we can do better. Jorge did a great race, so the YZR-M1 is doing really well,” he added.

“At Le Mans we have to work well and fix the bike better. I'm confident.”

MotoGP Le Mans: Lorenzo aiming to build on Jerez momentum 13 May 2015
'The bike is good right now and after my first podium and win I feel good. I'm not thinking about the championship, I just take it day by day' - Jorge Lorenzo
.
Jorge Lorenzo heads into this weekend's fifth round of the MotoGP World Championship in upbeat mood after sealing a dominant victory at Jerez.

The Movistar Yamaha rider's triumph in Spain was his first this season and has given Lorenzo confidence that he can build on his momentum at the French track on Sunday.

“I feel happy after my win in Jerez. Now I look forward to racing at Le Mans, a different track compared to Jerez,” he said.

"Usually we are affected by the weather, but it's a circuit I like and where Yamaha got some good results in the past, so I'm very confident of doing a good job there.

"The bike is good right now and after my first podium and win I feel good. I'm not thinking about the championship, I just take it day by day, corner by corner and try to ride the best I can and enjoy every session,” added Lorenzo.

"If we can find a good set-up I think we will be fighting for the podium again. Hopefully the weather is good but in France you never know what is going to happen. Anyway I'll do my best whatever the weather will be.”

Lorenzo is third in the points standings after his victory at Jerez, 20 points behind team-mate Valentino Rossi.
 

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I just did Le Mans on M o t o GP 14 on PS4 for the first time. Am I the only guy on the forum who likes to run the tracks of that week's race in a video game just to learn all the turns?

I feel like such a forking dork....
 

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I just did Le Mans on M o t o GP 14 on PS4 for the first time. Am I the only guy on the forum who likes to run the tracks of that week's race in a video game just to learn all the turns?

I feel like such a forking dork....
That's a good freakin' idea! I have a modded 360 lying around. Looks like I'll have to get my hands on a copy of this game. Thanks for the idea!
 

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All Times Eastern Time Zone

Thurs May 14
Press Conference PRESS 11:00 - 11:30

Friday May 15
Moto3 FP1 03:00 - 03:40
MotoGP FP1 03:55 - 04:40
Moto2 FP1 04:55 - 05:40
Moto3 FP2 07:10 - 07:50
MotoGP FP2 08:05 - 08:50
Moto2 FP2 09:05 - 09:50

Sat May 16
Moto3 FP3 03:00 - 03:40
MotoGP FP3 03:55 - 04:40
Moto2 FP3 04:55 - 05:40
Moto3 QP 06:35 - 07:15
MotoGP FP4 07:30 - 08:00
MotoGP Q1 08:10 - 08:25
MotoGP Q2 08:35 - 08:50
Moto2 QP 09:05 - 09:50
Press Conference PRESS 11:00 - 11:30

Sunday Mar 17
Moto3 WUP 02:40 - 03:00
Moto2 WUP 03:10 - 03:30
MotoGP WUP 03:40 - 04:00
Moto3 RAC 05:00
Moto2 RAC 06:20
MotoGP RAC 08:00

Dave, do you know if these times are AM or PM?
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Race is am, 8am eastern time, or 08:00, all am times. They use Military time format, or 24hr clock, so if it were pm it would show 20:00 or 8pm
 

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MotoGP » MotoGP Le Mans - Free Practice (1) Results 15 May 2015
Free Practice (1) results from the 2015 French MotoGP at Le Mans, round 5 of 18.
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MotoGP Le Mans - Free Practice (1) Results Reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez suffered a technical problem at the start of the session.

Dani Pedrosa is returning to MotoGP action after missing three events due to arm pump surgery. Andrea Iannone dislocated his left shoulder in a Tuesday testing fall at Mugello...
FP1 Results:
1. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP15) 1m 34.034s [Lap 15/16] 308km/h (Top Speed)
2. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 34.280s +0.246s [14/14] 308km/h
3. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 34.301s +0.267s [21/21] 308km/h
4. Cal Crutchlow GBR CWM LCR Honda (RC213V) 1m 34.310s +0.276s [16/16] 307km/h
5. Pol Espargaro ESP Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 1m 34.331s +0.297s [20/20] 306km/h
6. Scott Redding GBR Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V) 1m 34.472s +0.438s [20/20] 303km/h
7. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 34.570s +0.536s [20/20] 302km/h
8. Yonny Hernandez COL Pramac Racing (Desmosedici GP14.2) 1m 34.598s +0.564s [19/19] 306km/h
9. Andrea Iannone ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP15) 1m 34.721s +0.687s [18/19] 308km/h
10. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 1m 34.729s +0.695s [20/21] 308km/h
11. Aleix Espargaro ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 1m 34.854s +0.820s [13/19] 296km/h
12. Maverick Viñales ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)* 1m 35.254s +1.220s [18/19] 301km/h
13. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 35.348s +1.314s [17/17] 303km/h
14. Stefan Bradl GER Athina Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha) 1m 35.367s +1.333s [15/15] 299km/h
15. Nicky Hayden USA Aspar MotoGP Team (RC213V-RS) 1m 35.510s +1.476s [19/19] 297km/h
16. Danilo Petrucci ITA Pramac Racing (Desmosedici GP14.1) 1m 35.617s +1.583s [19/20] 298km/h
17. Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB Motoracing (RC213V-RS) 1m 35.690s +1.656s [10/15] 297km/h
18. Mike Di Meglio FRA Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP14 Open) 1m 35.697s +1.663s [18/18] 304km/h
19. Alvaro Bautista ESP Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 1m 35.800s +1.766s [19/20] 298km/h
20. Alex De Angelis RSM Octo IodaRacing (ART) 1m 35.802s +1.768s [18/19] 294km/h
21. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP14 Open) 1m 35.825s +1.791s [16/16] 306km/h
22. Jack Miller AUS CWM LCR Honda (RC213V-RS)* 1m 35.835s +1.801s [9/17] 298km/h
23. Loris Baz FRA Athina Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha)* 1m 36.161s +2.127s [21/21] 296km/h
24. Eugene Laverty IRL Aspar MotoGP Team (RC213V-RS)* 1m 36.607s +2.573s [21/22] 296km/h
25. Marco Melandri ITA Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 1m 36.973s +2.939s [18/18] 296km/h



FP2 Results:
1. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 1m 33.179s [Lap 18/19] 307km/h (Top Speed)
2. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 33.369s +0.190s [4/18] 306km/h
3. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP15) 1m 33.553s +0.374s [11/22] 310km/h
4. Cal Crutchlow GBR CWM LCR Honda (RC213V) 1m 33.652s +0.473s [16/19] 307km/h
5. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 33.670s +0.491s [16/21] 309km/h
6. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 33.686s +0.507s [19/23] 305km/h
7. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 33.725s +0.546s [18/18] 308km/h
8. Pol Espargaro ESP Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 1m 33.903s +0.724s [18/18] 307km/h
9. Aleix Espargaro ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 1m 33.944s +0.765s [13/18] 296km/h
10. Yonny Hernandez COL Pramac Racing (Desmosedici GP14.2) 1m 33.953s +0.774s [16/18] 305km/h
11. Andrea Iannone ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP15) 1m 34.092s +0.913s [17/17] 309km/h
12. Maverick Viñales ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)* 1m 34.110s +0.931s [15/16] 301km/h
13. Jack Miller AUS CWM LCR Honda (RC213V-RS)* 1m 34.253s +1.074s [16/19] 300km/h
14. Scott Redding GBR Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V) 1m 34.371s +1.192s [20/22] 304km/h
15. Stefan Bradl GER Athina Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha) 1m 34.543s +1.364s [19/19] 302km/h
16. Danilo Petrucci ITA Pramac Racing (Desmosedici GP14.1) 1m 34.568s +1.389s [18/18] 299km/h
17. Nicky Hayden USA Aspar MotoGP Team (RC213V-RS) 1m 34.663s +1.484s [16/19] 296km/h
18. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP14 Open) 1m 34.745s +1.566s [4/14] 310km/h
19. Loris Baz FRA Athina Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha)* 1m 35.002s +1.823s [11/18] 295km/h
20. Mike Di Meglio FRA Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP14 Open) 1m 35.067s +1.888s [6/14] 305km/h
21. Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB Motoracing (RC213V-RS) 1m 35.090s +1.911s [15/18] 297km/h
22. Alvaro Bautista ESP Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 1m 35.137s +1.958s [14/16] 297km/h
23. Eugene Laverty IRL Aspar MotoGP Team (RC213V-RS)* 1m 35.182s +2.003s [16/20] 296km/h
24. Alex De Angelis RSM Octo IodaRacing (ART) 1m 35.938s +2.759s [5/13] 290km/h
25. Marco Melandri ITA Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 1m 36.056s +2.877s [4/18] 296km/h
 

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Poor Joe :(
MotoGP Le Mans: Iannone ‘in a lot of pain’ 15 May 2015
"I used painkillers but there was no difference" - Andrea Iannone.

Andrea Iannone is hoping a change of medication will help numb the pain from his dislocated left shoulder during day two of the French MotoGP.

The Ducati star suffered the injury during testing at Mugello earlier this week and had to grit his teeth in Friday practice at Le Mans.

The Italian, who was eleventh fastest and 0.9s behind leader Bradley Smith, said: “I have a lot of pain in my shoulder, especially in the changes of direction. I work a lot with the Clinica Mobile to improve the situation, but it is only two days that I injured the shoulder.

“I tried my best and my team also. It'll be really important to focus because it won't be a normal weekend for me but the points will be really important for the championship.”

Asked how he feels about doing a full race distance, Iannone replied: “At the moment it is not a good feeling… In the second practice today I used painkillers but there was no difference. I don't know why. I talked with the Clinica Mobile and tonight I'll try a different solution and check if it is better tomorrow or not.”

The Englishman tops a MotoGP session for the first time since Barcelona, 2014 despite a late crash in Friday's FP2
Right on Smith!!
Bradley Smith topped a MotoGP practice session for the first time since June, 2014 by setting the Friday pace at Le Mans for the fifth round of the MotoGP series.

Smith ended the session 0.19s clear of Jorge Lorenzo in second as both men dipped under Marc Marquez's year old circuit record.

The Tech 3 Yamaha man was comfortably sitting inside the top five before going fastest with less than ten minutes remaining when using the softer rear tyre.

A spill at the tight turn 13 followed as he fell when following Aleix Espargaro, who also went down. In a bizarre end to the session the pair crashed moments after Pol Espargaro went down at turn nine.

All of this commotion somewhat took the attention away from Lorenzo and third placed Andrea Dovizioso, who both consistently cut laps in the 1m 33s barrier.

Cal Crutchlow made it two British riders inside the top four with another promising display while Marc Marquez put his morning issues behind him to finish the day in fifth.

Marquez spent the end of the session testing the durability and speed of Bridgestone's softer rear tyre while the 'Factory' Yamaha of Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi turned their attentions to the medium.

Indeed Bridgestone reported that Smith had been happy with the medium's performance before he changed to the soft late on.

Usually one to build his way into a weekend, Rossi will be more than content with the sixth best time, a place ahead of the returning Dani Pedrosa.

Sitting as low as 15th early on, Pedrosa steadily made his way through the top ten to sit as high as third with 15 minutes to run. The Spaniard was eventually pushed back to seventh.

Pol led brother Aleix as the Espargaros finished the session in eighth and ninth while Yonny Hernandez ended the session tenth. Andrea Iannone, another man riding injured, took to the track after a pain killing injection and ended the session eleventh.
 

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Marquez: Rossi, Lorenzo strongest rivals - Dovi question mark 15 May 2015
“Valentino and Jorge will be the strongest title opponents but Dovi is the question mark”- Marc Marquez.

Reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez overcame an early technical problem to set the fifth fastest lap time on Friday at Le Mans.

The Repsol Honda star, who gained four points on title leader Valentino Rossi last time at Jerez, pulled off-track at the end of pit lane in the opening minutes of FP1.

The Spaniard is already believed to have lost one of his five engines at Austin, but later insisted today's issue really had been an "electrical problem".

Once back on track Marquez soon put the incident behind him to finish second, to Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso, in FP1 then lowered his lap time by half-a-second in the afternoon.

The 22-year-old - who tried the new swingarm first seen at the Jerez test, which features a small cutaway (see picture) - was 0.491s from surprise day one leader Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Yamaha).

“Today was good, maybe the position could be improved but I'm happy with the work that we did,” he said. “We tried to improve for the second part of the race and that's what we focussed on. I'm happy because the new swingarm is working well and I'm feeling good.

“In the second half of the race we are looking to improve the entry of the corner where I have a floating feeling on the front, to improve on that we need to work on the used tyre.

“Dovi is really strong this year and I expect him to have good pace and all the Yamaha riders. It's only Friday but it looks like Vale, Lorenzo and Dovizioso will be strong.”

Marquez starts this weekend fourth in the championship and 26 points behind Rossi, a very different scenario to last year when he swept to victory in the opening ten events.

“The situation is completely different to last year and we've already had one crash in a race and if after four races you have a '0' the points difference is bigger. I still feel good and we've still got 14 races left,” Marquez said.

“Valentino has started the season really strong, at Jerez Lorenzo was stronger than him but Valentino has the experience to manage the situation and the points and where he can attack and then where he needs to save points.

“Valentino and Jorge will be the strongest opponents but Dovi is the question mark.”

Lorenzo was second quickest on Friday with Dovizioso third and Rossi sixth.

MotoGP Le Mans: Pedrosa: I forgot how fast this bike was! 15 May 2015
“The arm was better in the afternoon than the morning so I'm hoping that little by little I'll get better feelings” – Dani Pedrosa.

nice to see him back out there! and lol at how fast the bike is
Absent for six weeks, Dani Pedrosa admitted to being surprised by the speed of his Repsol Honda during his MotoGP return at Le Mans on Friday.

The Spaniard was riding for the first time since undergoing complicated arm pump surgery on his right forearm. Pedrosa improved from a cautious 13th (+1.3s) in FP1 to seventh (+0.5s) in FP2, featuring as high as third in the closing stages.

“It was different than expected because I had a lot of feelings on the bike, especially in this track because the bike wheelies quite fast!” Pedrosa said of his comeback.

“I didn't remember how fast this bike was and I had a lot of problems controlling the wheelie and trying to stay full throttle and to control the spinning of the bike. The speed at the beginning of practice was tough, many riders were passing me!

“It was hard to adjust my brain to all the little things that you do on the bike but already in the afternoon I was going better and tomorrow I'll have a better feeling for that.”

Evaluating the condition of his arm, Pedrosa declared: “The arm was better in the afternoon than the morning so I'm hoping that little by little I'll get better feelings and also my riding will get better too because it's not perfect after not riding for so long.

“I had a little bit of swelling after riding so I'll do some therapy to get the swelling down and tomorrow it'll be important to see the level of swelling and the pain. I did a lot of short runs trying not to stress it too much.”

Asked for his opinion, world championship leader Valentino Rossi said he was "quiet impressed" by Pedrosa's form:

"He was fast and he make a lap time very similar to mine and also Marc. Considering that he is one month without race he is already fast. I expect because I think that Dani come back only if he is in quite good shape. But we need to understand the potential of Pedrosa in the race, that is very long."

Pedrosa meanwhile admitted that he didn't do much set-up work.

“I didn't do much work on the chassis or the bike, I just focussed on myself. I'm a little bit tired and I need to get some rest for tomorrow. My first lap wasn't bad but the second or third when I started to push was harder.”

Team-mate and reigning champion Marc Marquez was a fraction faster than Pedrosa in fifth. Both set their best lap times with the softer rear tyre.
 

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MotoGP Le Mans: ‘Last exit’ pleases Valentino Rossi 15 May 2015
“I'm quite happy about the day because in the last exit this afternoon we improved the bike" - Valentino Rossi.

MotoGP world championship leader Valentino Rossi finished the first day of the French Grand Prix in sixth position at Le Mans.

The Movistar Yamaha rider was 0.507s behind Tech 3 Yamaha's Bradley Smith, but pleased with improvements made on his final run of the day.

Rossi was yet to break the 1m 34s barrier prior to that exit, but went on to set four 1m 33s laps - using the medium rear tyre (the hardest available this weekend).

“I'm quite happy about the day because in the last exit this afternoon we improved the bike and I had a quite good pace. Quite constant and quite fast,” Rossi confirmed. “I lose in some places, like section 1 and 3 I'm not fantastic, but we have things to improve in the bike.

“In the end I am sixth positon, but I think we have good potential. We have to improve and work a lot, but for Friday it is not so bad.”

Rossi, who snatched a dramatic victory from Marc Marquez after choosing the harder of the rear tyre options in Argentina, added:

“I like the harder tyre. We have to say that this weekend there is not a big difference between the hard and soft, but I like the hard. Depends very much on the weather condition and temperature but the hard is a race option.”

The Doctor, who starts round five with a 15 point lead over Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso, insisted a technical issue in the morning session was nothing to worry about.

“We have a small problem. Nothing serious. But unfortunately some oil exit [the bike] and I had to stop. Unfortunately also I cannot use the rear tyre [again] so this afternoon I had to use a used rear. Just fix and no problem for the engine, but it was a small problem for this morning.”

Team-mate and Jerez winner Jorge Lorenzo was second quickest. The Spaniard set eight laps under 1m 34s, with nine for Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso (who has a softer grade of rear tyre) and four for Honda's reigning champion Marc Marquez.

MotoGP Le Mans: Lorenzo sets race pace, pushing for more 15 May 2015
Jorge Lorenzo considered the best for race pace but not totally content with his Friday performance at Le Mans.

Jerez winner Jorge Lorenzo wasn't completely satisfied with the first day of MotoGP practice at Le Mans, despite looking to have the best race pace.

The Majorcan ended the day second overall after dipping under Marc Marquez's year-old lap record in the afternoon. Lorenzo was only headed by Tech 3 Yamaha's Bradley Smith, who went faster by two tenths of a second.

But in terms of race pace, Movistar Yamaha's Lorenzo and Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso appear to hold an early advantage as they reeled off laps in the 1m 33s.

The Spaniard set eight laps under 1m 34s, with nine for Dovizioso (who has a softer grade of rear tyre). Lorenzo's team-mate Valentino Rossi and Honda's reigning champion Marc Marquez both set for sub 1m 34s laps.

Yet Lorenzo wasn't totally satisfied with the set-up of his Yamaha M1.

“Basically the bike is going well in principle,” he said on Friday evening. “We have a lot more potential than we are showing now. The feeling is going down too much in the majority of the corners.

“We can improve a lot in some corners but considering what we've got our pace has been good. We need to improve the feeling with the front tyre because when the rear grip falls away it starts to affect the front.

“That's the objective tomorrow. To improve the pace when the rear tyre drops a little.”

Although adamant there is room for further set-up enhancements, Lorenzo was content to be towards the top of the timesheets, on a completely different track character to the previous round, at which he dominated.

“This circuit is totally different to Jerez. It's narrower, a lot colder but with smoother and better asphalt than Jerez. This morning there were patches in some curves. Little by little it dried out and the corners were dry enough. But let's see if we can fight for the first few places.”

When asked what changed in the intervening period between Argentina and Jerez, Lorenzo said it was down to some fine tuning in terms of mentality.

“The bike is more or less the same as it was in Argentina. I've changed the mentality, the approach to some of the practice sessions. In the end it's the same and the bike hasn't changed a lot. I think we were in better shape than some of the results suggested.”

Lorenzo is currently 20-points behind team-mate Valentino Rossi in the title standings. Rossi was sixth quickest on Friday.
 

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FP3 Results:
1. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 32.647s [Lap 18/18] 312km/h (Top Speed)
2. Andrea Iannone ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP15) 1m 33.018s +0.371s [17/19] 317km/h
3. Cal Crutchlow GBR CWM LCR Honda (RC213V) 1m 33.126s +0.479s [19/19] 316km/h
4. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP15) 1m 33.176s +0.529s [4/16] 314km/h
5. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 1m 33.502s +0.855s [21/22] 312km/h
6. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 33.517s +0.870s [17/20] 315km/h
7. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 33.597s +0.950s [17/17] 313km/h
8. Yonny Hernandez COL Pramac Racing (Desmosedici GP14.2) 1m 33.646s +0.999s [17/20] 308km/h
9. Pol Espargaro ESP Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 1m 33.694s +1.047s [21/22] 311km/h
10. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 33.782s +1.135s [19/19] 308km/h
11. Maverick Viñales ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)* 1m 33.837s +1.190s [18/19] 305km/h
12. Danilo Petrucci ITA Pramac Racing (Desmosedici GP14.1) 1m 34.057s +1.410s [17/18] 308km/h
13. Scott Redding GBR Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V) 1m 34.097s +1.450s [20/24] 308km/h
14. Aleix Espargaro ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 1m 34.214s +1.567s [9/11] 301km/h
15. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP14 Open) 1m 34.332s +1.685s [21/21] 314km/h
16. Alvaro Bautista ESP Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 1m 34.341s +1.694s [16/18] 304km/h
17. Jack Miller AUS CWM LCR Honda (RC213V-RS)* 1m 34.505s +1.858s [18/21] 302km/h
18. Nicky Hayden USA Aspar MotoGP Team (RC213V-RS) 1m 34.604s +1.957s [16/18] 302km/h
19. Stefan Bradl GER Athina Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha) 1m 34.759s +2.112s [6/16] 307km/h
20. Loris Baz FRA Athina Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha)* 1m 35.000s +2.353s [16/17] 301km/h
21. Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB Motoracing (RC213V-RS) 1m 35.101s +2.454s [12/18] 304km/h
22. Mike Di Meglio FRA Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP14 Open) 1m 35.487s +2.840s [19/19] 309km/h
23. Eugene Laverty IRL Aspar MotoGP Team (RC213V-RS)* 1m 35.511s +2.864s [14/17] 302km/h
24. Alex De Angelis RSM Octo IodaRacing (ART) 1m 35.671s +3.024s [16/18] 297km/h
25. Marco Melandri ITA Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 1m 35.711s +3.064s [17/17] 304km/h


FP4 Results:
1. Loris Baz FRA Athina Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha)* 1m 41.913s [Lap 11/11] 296km/h (Top Speed)
2. Alex De Angelis RSM Octo IodaRacing (ART) 1m 43.312s +1.399s [9/9] 288km/h
3. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 43.434s +1.521s [8/9] 292km/h
4. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 44.083s +2.170s [12/13] 294km/h
5. Cal Crutchlow GBR CWM LCR Honda (RC213V) 1m 44.262s +2.349s [9/10] 300km/h
6. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 44.270s +2.357s [9/11] 290km/h
7. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 44.452s +2.539s [12/12] 292km/h
8. Scott Redding GBR Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V) 1m 44.635s +2.722s [9/9] 288km/h
9. Danilo Petrucci ITA Pramac Racing (Desmosedici GP14.1) 1m 44.692s +2.779s [10/11] 294km/h
10. Maverick Viñales ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)* 1m 45.588s +3.675s [12/13] 292km/h
11. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP15) 1m 46.311s +4.398s [6/7] 297km/h
12. Alvaro Bautista ESP Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 1m 46.364s +4.451s [12/13] 288km/h
13. Marco Melandri ITA Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 1m 46.831s +4.918s [10/11] 283km/h
14. Pol Espargaro ESP Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 1m 46.972s +5.059s [10/10] 296km/h
15. Yonny Hernandez COL Pramac Racing (Desmosedici GP14.2) 1m 47.742s +5.829s [5/6] 290km/h
16. Jack Miller AUS CWM LCR Honda (RC213V-RS)* 1m 47.818s +5.905s [6/9] 288km/h
17. Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB Motoracing (RC213V-RS) 1m 47.905s +5.992s [10/11] 292km/h
18. Nicky Hayden USA Aspar MotoGP Team (RC213V-RS) 1m 48.434s +6.521s [5/7] 288km/h
19. Mike Di Meglio FRA Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP14 Open) 1m 48.657s +6.744s [9/10] 290km/h
20. Stefan Bradl GER Athina Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha) 1m 48.757s +6.844s [6/9] 279km/h
21. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP14 Open) 1m 49.175s +7.262s [7/11] 284km/h
22. Aleix Espargaro ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 1m 49.342s +7.429s [6/7] 282km/h
23. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 1m 49.453s +7.540s [4/5] 294km/h
24. Eugene Laverty IRL Aspar MotoGP Team (RC213V-RS)* 1m 50.321s +8.408s [8/9] 287km/h
25. Andrea Iannone ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP15) 1m 53.101s +11.188s [4/6] 275km/h
 

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Marc Marquez takes his third pole of the season ahead of Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo. All riders were back on slicks following an earlier rain shower.

After a massive morning highside, Suzuki's Aleix Espargaro returned for qualifying, advancing to Q2 by being second fastest in Q1.

Dani Pedrosa is returning to MotoGP action after missing three events due to arm pump surgery. Andrea Iannone dislocated his left shoulder in a Tuesday testing fall at Mugello.

Qualifying 2:
1. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 32.246s [Lap 8/9] 313km/h (Top Speed)
2. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP15) 1m 32.749s +0.503s [8/8] 313km/h
3. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 32.846s +0.600s [8/8] 310km/h
4. Cal Crutchlow GBR CWM LCR Honda (RC213V) 1m 32.897s +0.651s [9/9] 310km/h
5. Andrea Iannone ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP15) 1m 33.001s +0.755s [7/9] 316km/h
6. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 1m 33.299s +1.053s [8/9] 309km/h
7. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 33.352s +1.106s [8/9] 307km/h
8. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 33.419s +1.173s [4/9] 313km/h
9. Danilo Petrucci ITA Pramac Racing (Desmosedici GP14.1) 1m 33.556s +1.310s [7/9] 310km/h
10. Aleix Espargaro ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 1m 33.665s +1.419s [4/6] 299km/h
11. Yonny Hernandez COL Pramac Racing (Desmosedici GP14.2) 1m 33.714s +1.468s [9/9] 308km/h
12. Pol Espargaro ESP Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 1m 33.724s +1.478s [8/8] 310km/h

Qualifying 1:
13. Maverick Viñales ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)* 1m 34.245s 300km/h
14. Nicky Hayden USA Aspar MotoGP Team (RC213V-RS) 1m 34.267s 298km/h
15. Scott Redding GBR Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V) 1m 34.551s 304km/h
16. Stefan Bradl GER Athina Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha) 1m 34.575s 307km/h
17. Mike Di Meglio FRA Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP14 Open) 1m 34.833s 311km/h
18. Jack Miller AUS CWM LCR Honda (RC213V-RS)* 1m 34.858s 304km/h
19. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP14 Open) 1m 34.870s 310km/h
20. Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB Motoracing (RC213V-RS) 1m 34.940s 302km/h
21. Eugene Laverty IRL Aspar MotoGP Team (RC213V-RS)* 1m 34.947s 302km/h
22. Loris Baz FRA Athina Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha)* 1m 35.456s 298km/h
23. Alvaro Bautista ESP Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 1m 35.458s 298km/h
24. Alex De Angelis RSM Octo IodaRacing (ART) 1m 35.680s 292km/h
25. Marco Melandri ITA Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 1m 37.522s 298km/h
 

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Marquez takes pole, Lorenzo bides his time…
The final qualifying session leaves the Honda rider first, but Lorenzo demonstrated a consistent pace that could prove useful on race day...
The final qualifying session of the Monster Energy Grand Prix sees Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) back in pole position for the third time this season. He was over half a second quicker than Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), with Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) left to take third place on the front row in Sunday's race.

The pole position changed hands several times during the final round, but Marquez dropped his time to 1'32.246 to take his third pole position of the season. The World Champion clearly sees Lorenzo as a threat though: "In qualifying we used the best setup that we had found. We were lucky that the track was in good condition which allowed me to ride normally. I am happy with pole position and tomorrow a tough race awaits us, because Jorge especially has a very good pace. We will try to be as close to him as we can!"

Lorenzo seems to agree, believing he can do better: "The conditions were difficult on the track, you have to be careful with slicks and stay confident. We were lucky on the last lap to have 99% of the track dry and I pushed quite a bit. It was a pity that I didn‘t ride any good laps and was slower than I was in FP3. I made a mistake in sector three and lost probably half a second, but I was lucky not to go outside of the track and ride a very good sector four, which put me on the first row.”

Dovizioso was satisfied with a front row start, but also believes he has more pace to extract: “The front row is fine and it is also very important because in MotoGP it’s always essential to start as far up the grid as possible. I could probably have been a bit closer to Marquez and try and go for pole, but in any case I set a good lap time”.

The second row will be headed by Cal Crutchlow (CWM-LCR Honda). The Brit has remained among the fastest in the weekend's practice sessions. His position also places him as the best satellite rider, ahead of countryman Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), who was sixth after leading FP2 on Friday.

Between Crutchlow and Smith, Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team) managed a creditable fifth. As we have seen in Free Practice, the rider is recovering after dislocating his shoulder during testing in Mugello.

Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) will start seventh in the attempt to defend his lead in the championship standings. His main rivals, Marquez and Lorenzo, will start the race way ahead on the front row, so his chances will lie in choosing the right tyre and an aggressive initial push to avoid losing the front runners.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) continues his comeback after undergoing surgery to solve the problems in his right forearm. Tomorrow he starts from a respectable 8th on the grid and he appears happy with his pace: "This first qualifying session back has not gone badly. We could have gone a little faster but in the end I didn't quite manage it. The positive news is that today I am feeling a little better physically than yesterday and that's a good thing!”
 

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i was wondering why he was messing with the bike exiting pit lane, makes sense now
MotoGP Le Mans: Broken sensor hampers Lorenzo pole bid 16 May 2015
Jorge Lorenzo claims third on the grid for Le Mans MotoGP - despite a broken sensor

Jorge Lorenzo has revealed that a broken sensor on his Movistar Yamaha hampered his bid for pole position at Le Mans on Saturday.

The Spaniard has had the edge in terms of race pace for much of the weekend and was also quickest in the final dry practice session, FP3.

Whilst he went on to claim third place in qualifying, on the outside of the front row, Lorenzo was left a surprising 0.6s slower than Marc Marquez.

But the reason for the size of the gap was made clear as soon as Lorenzo returned to the pits.

“An electronic sensor was broken. So I'm surprised to set this lap time,” Lorenzo said. “When I exited for my second try, in pit lane the bike was working strange and the dashboard said 5th or 6th gear and I was in 1st or 2nd.

“Then when I was going fast the bike was still strange, the engine braking and the throttle. But I didn't feel it was bad enough to stop. I had too much engine braking at the chicane when I went wide.

“When I got back to pit lane the mechanics told me about the sensor. It was a pity but what can you do.”

Lorenzo, who claimed his first win of the season last time at Jerez, starts Sunday's race 20-points behind team-mate Valentino Rossi. The Italian qualified in seventh place.
 
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