The MotoGP World Championship arrives in France for the fifth Grand Prix of the 2021 season, taking place this weekend at the historic Bugatti Circuit in Le Mans. The famous French track, which has been on the calendar since 2000, has so far seen Ducati score nine podium finishes, including a victory last year, scored by Danilo Petrucci, after an outstanding race in the wet.
During the last edition of the Grand Prix of France, Jack Miller, fresh winner of the Spanish GP, was also one of the main protagonists. The Australian was fighting for the podium until a few laps from the end when a technical problem forced him to retire. After his success two weeks ago, the Ducati Lenovo Team rider aims to be just as competitive this weekend.
The same goes for Francesco Bagnaia, second at Jerez and current leader of the Championship standings. The Italian rider, who has scored three podiums since the start of the season so far, hopes to continue with his momentum and consolidate his championship lead with another good result in France.
After the first four rounds of the 2021 MotoGP season, Ducati and the Ducati Lenovo Team are second in the manufacturers' and teams' standings, respectively.
Francesco Bagnaia (#63 Ducati Lenovo Team) - 1st (66 points)
"I'm really excited to be back in action this weekend. In the last two Grands Prix, we've been able to get some good results on tracks where we've suffered in the past. I hope we will continue to be as competitive also at the next two circuits, which are more favourable to the characteristics of our bike. Last year at Le Mans, I managed to qualify seventh, even though I struggled with the low temperatures in the early stages of the weekend. I felt strong, but the rain then disturbed my race. We'll see what the weather is like this weekend. My feeling with the Desmosedici continues to be very good, so I'm confident that I can do a good race also in the wet conditions".
Jack Miller (#43 Ducati Lenovo Team) - 6th (39 points)
"I am super happy to be back racing in France this weekend! Last year I had a strong French GP. I was second in qualifying and, after a good start, I stayed within the leading group. Unfortunately, with seven laps to go, I had to retire due to a technical problem. Winning the Spanish GP two weeks ago has definitely boosted my confidence. My feeling with the bike is good, I had no issues with the right forearm now that it has been operated on, so I am confident that I can do another good race this weekend".
The Ducati Lenovo Team will take to the track for the first free practice session of the French GP on Friday 14th May at 9:55 am local time (CEST).
Name: Bugatti Circuit
Best lap: Viñales (Yamaha) 1:32.309 (163.2 km/h) - 2017
Circuit record: Zarco (KTM) 1:31.185 (165.2 km/h) – 2018
Top speed: Bagnaia (Ducati) 319.6 km/h – 2020
Track length: 4,185 km
Race distance: 27 laps (112,995 km)
Corners: 14 (5 left, 9 right)
Podium: 1° Petrucci (Ducati); 2° A. Márquez (Honda), 3° P. Espargaro (KTM)
Pole Position: Quartararo (Yamaha) 1:31.315 (164.9 km/h)
Fastest lap: Zarco (Ducati) 1:43.301 (145.8 km/h)
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Race Number: 43
GPs started: 158 (103 x MotoGP, 49 x Moto3, 6 x 125 cc)
First GP: Qatar 2015 (MotoGP), Qatar 2012 (Moto3), Germany 2011 (125 cc)
Wins: 8 (2 MotoGP + 6 Moto3)
First Win: Netherlands 2016 (MotoGP), Qatar 2014 (Moto3)
Pole positions: 9 (1 MotoGP + 8 Moto3)
First pole: Argentina 2018 (MotoGP), USA 2014 (Moto3)
World Titles: -
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Race Number: 63
GPs started: 138 (33 x MotoGP, 36 x Moto2, 69 x Moto3)
First GP: Qatar 2019 (MotoGP), Qatar 2017 (MotoGP), Qatar 2013 (MotoGP)
Wins: 10 (8 Moto2 + 2 Moto3)
First Win: Qatar 2018 (Moto2), Netherlands 2016 (Moto3)
Pole positions: 8 (1 MotoGP, 6 Moto2 + 1 Moto3)
First pole: France 2018 (Moto2), Britain 2016 (Moto3), Qatar 2021 (MotoGP)
World Titles: 1 (Moto2, 2018)
Francesco Bagnaia (#63 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 2º (66 points)
Jack Miller (#43 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 6º (39 points)
Ducati – 2º (85 points)
Ducati Lenovo Team – 2º (105 points)