Felice Monteleone – FMPhotoSport Moto3 News
ASPAR Team Moto3, GP of France Preview
Aspar Team France Preview, Pecco Bagnaia takes good form to France
Italian arrives at one of his favourite tracks on the back of a podium at Jerez, with Jorge Martín targeting a return to the top ten.
The legendary Bugatti circuit in Le Mans plays host to the fifth round of the MotoGP World Championship this weekend, with the Moto3 race promising to be another completely unpredictable affair. So far there have been four different race winners – Niccolò Antonelli, Khairul Idham Pawi, Romano Fenati and Brad Binder – from the opening four rounds and there are plenty of contenders to make it five from five, with only two of those race winners currently featuring in the top five of the championship. Jorge Navarro, Nicolo Bulega and Aspar Mahindra rider Pecco Bagnaia are all in the hunt for their first win of the season, with their next opportunity coming up over 24 laps at the home of the world-famous 24 hour race on Sunday.
Aspar Mahindra Team rider Pecco Bagnaia arrives in France feeling full of confidence after securing his second podium of the season last time out at Jerez. This is also one of the Italian’s favourite circuits, where he scored the first fastest lap, first front row start and first podium finish of his Grand Prix career. His team-mate Jorge Martín does not have such great memories of this circuit, despite putting together an unforgettable charge through the field last season. Martín is hoping the French race can be the start of a run of consistent points-scoring finishes as he looks to build on the work he started along with his crew at Jerez.
Pecco Bagnaia: “Le Mans has always been a favourable track for me, it has been good to me in past seasons and I have had some strong results there. I recorded my first ever fastest lap at Le Mans in 2014 and last year I started from the front row and scored my first podium. It is not a difficult track but it suits the way I have to ride the Mahindra. We can fight for another great result there but we will have to work in the same way as Jerez, which was a great team job and a big step forward. We will try to do the same thing in France, although we will still need some improvements in terms of acceleration. Hopefully it won’t rain because if it does there won’t be much grip.”
Jorge Martín: “Le Mans is a circuit I like, it is fast and fun, although I don’t have great memories of it from last season. I crashed in qualifying, couldn’t complete a lap and had to start the race from the back of the grid. I made a good comeback and passed half the field to get into the points but the handlebar broke on the final lap and I couldn’t finish. Hopefully this year, with the experience we have gathered and the hard work the team is doing, we can score a top ten finish and kickstart a run of strong results.”