Felice Monteleone – FMPhotoSport Moto3 News
ASPAR Team Moto3, GP of France Race Report
Mahindra riders leave Le Mans with little show for their efforts
Pecco Bagnaia picks up four points in twelfth, Jorge Martín crosses the line in eighteenth
The fifth round of the Moto3 World Championship was the first this season to see a repeat winner, as Brad Binder took his second victory in as many races to extend his lead at the top of the championship. The Grand Prix de France saw a split of two groups of twelve and ten riders respectively, before a breakaway quartet of Fenati, Navarro, Binder and Canet escaped at the front. The South African triumphed ahead of Fenati and Navarro, with Canet foiled in a late lunge at the podium. Binder now heads for the next round of the season at Mugello in two weeks time with a 24-point advantage over Navarro.
Pecco Bagnaia started from the seventh row of the grid with the clear target of a charge to the points. The Italian made up positions in the first third of the race to reach thirteenth, but without the top speed to match the faster group he lost touch and was forced to defend his position. Four points from his Le Mans weekend means Pecco lies sixth in the championship. His team-mate Jorge Martín started from the eighth row but despite showing a strong pace that saw him clock the fastest lap of the race in the early stages, such a lowly starting position cost him dearly. The Spaniard managed to finish in a creditable eighteenth, although that is a long way from his objective.
12th Pecco Bagnaia: “It has been a difficult weekend for us, we were competitive on the first day but yesterday and today I couldn’t get the most out of the engine and we were losing a lot of speed on the straights. I am a little disappointed because in the last race I finished on the podium and here we struggled even to score points. However, I know that from here onwards we have to keep scoring whenever possible and hopefully we’ll have some improvements from Mahindra for the next race, in Mugello, a round that is really important for me.”
18th Jorge Martín: “I went into this race thinking that we could fight for a good result because I felt comfortable with the bike in warm-up. I started out well and managed to make up some positions, but then I started to have trouble changing gear mid-corner and that made it difficult for the rest of the race. We have a new gearshifter for Mugello that seems like it should work better so hopefully we can be fighting for a good result there.”