Felice Monteleone – FMPhotoSport MotoGP News
ASPAR Team MotoGP, GP of France Preview
Aspar Team France Preview, Ambitious Aspar Team riders head for France
Eugene Laverty aims to defend coveted ninth place in the championship as Yonny Hernández takes good feelings to Le Mans
The second European round of the 2016 MotoGP World Championship takes place this weekend as the Bugatti circuit of Le Mans plays host to the Grand Prix de France, just as it has done every year since 2000. The legendary track first played host to Grand Prix motorcycle racing back in 1969 and this year’s winner will write their name into the history books after 28 hard-fought laps. Marc Márquez arrives in France as series leader after taking two wins and two third places from the opening four rounds. The Spaniard is the only rider to have scored podiums in every race so far, helping him to a 17-point lead over Jorge Lorenzo, with Valentino Rossi, winner of the last race at Jerez, now 24 adrift.
The battle to finish as the top independent rider in this year’s championship currently sees three riders separated by just eight points, with Aspar Team rider Eugene Laverty firmly in the hunt. The Irishman is currently ninth in the overall standings and he is determined to maintain his top ten position at Le Mans, preferably by finishing as the top independent rider. Laverty travels to Le Mans feeling confident after his ninth place at Jerez, where he was just 1.5 seconds behind the top independent. Yonny Hernández has had this round circled on his calendar since the schedule was announced. The Colombian scored his best result of last season at Le Mans when he finished eighth, a result he would love to repeat this weekend as he aims to turn some recent bad luck around.
Eugene Laverty: “I was very satisfied with the last race at Jerez. My aim was to maintain this strong top ten form and we did exactly that with ninth position. We arrive at Le Mans with good confidence and good momentum, my aim is to make another top ten finish and keep fighting to be the top independent team. We were so close at Jerez, just 1.5 seconds off, so this time we want to make sure we arrive first. I think the Le Mans circuit should actually suit our bike a lot, so I am looking forward to it.”
Yonny Hernández: “After the test at Jerez last week I think we have some interesting information and a good feeling to take with us to Le Mans for the French Grand Prix. I think we can be fighting to be in the top ten positions if the track conditions and the bike are consistent over the weekend and we don’t have any external issues that make things difficult on race day.”