Monster Energy Grand Prix of France 2013

Posted on May 14, 2013 by Nick Harris

ROUND FOUR 2012 MotoGP™ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP - SUNDAY MAY 20

It’s the home race for the French-based Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team. Bradley Smith, who took his very first 125cc podium in 2007 at Le Mans, starts just his fourth MotoGP race encouraged by his tenth place in the previous round in Jerez.


MARQUEZ MARCHES INTO LE MANS
Twenty year old Marc Marquez marches into Le Mans for the fourth round of the MotoGP World Championship this weekend with a three point lead in the championship. The Monster Energy Grand Prix of France around the 2.600 mile Bugatti circuit at Le Mans is only his fourth MotoGP race but the Moto2 World Champion has finished on the podium in the first three including victory at Austin, Texas.

It promises to be another bruising 28 lap encounter on Sunday with his Spanish rivals, Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa and World Champion Jorge Lorenzo. Pedrosa won the previous round in Jerez with Marquez second after a clash at the infamous last corner with Lorenzo who won the Le Mans race last year. The trio are separated by just four points.

Last year nine times World Champion Valentino Rossi brought Ducati a much needed second place in the difficult conditions at Le Mans and the Italian returns on the factory Yamaha hoping for a repeat although it will be tough against the leading trio. British Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow has made a superb start to the season with two fifths and a fourth place. It’s a big home race for his French-based team with his team-mate Bradley Smith looking to push closer to the leaders after finishing tenth in Jerez.

Spaniard Alvaro Bautista has made a steady start to the season on the Go&Fun Gresini Honda but trails Crutchlow by seven points in their battle for fifth while the Ducati duo of Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden are only two and four points behind respectively.

Spaniard Aleix Espargaro has made a great start and is comfortably the top CRT bike on the Power Electronics Aspar machine. He has been top CRT rider in those opening three rounds and leads factory bike riders Andrea Iannone, Stefan Bradl, Smith and Ben Spies who missed the last race through injury. It’s a big race for former Moto2 World Champion Bradl who has crashed the LCR Honda in two of the three races.

LE MANS FACTS AND FIGURES
Circuit Length: 4.185 kms
Width: 13m
Pole Position: Left
Longest Straight: 674m
Left Corners: Four
Right Corners: Nine
Pole Position Record: Dani Pedrosa/Honda1.32.647 (2008)
Lap Record: Dani Pedrosa/Honda1'33.617 (2011)


TELEVISION TIMES
BBC/BRITISH EUROSPORT
Friday 17 May
08:55 – 09:40  MotoGP Free Practice 1 BST Connected TV & Online
12:10 – 14:50  Free Practice 2  BST Connected TV & Online

Saturday 18 May
08:55 – 09:40  MotoGP Free Practice 3  BST Connected TV & Online
11:20 – 15:05  Qualifying BBC Red Button and British Eurosport
21:30 – 14:00  MotoGP Qualifying BBC1 HD

Sunday 19 May
09:45 – 12:20  Moto3 and Moto2 races BBC Red Button and British Eurosport
12:30 – 14:15  MotoGP race BBC2 HD 

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