Le Mans (France), 18th May 2014
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi has taken his second consecutive second place finish in the 2014 MotoGP Championship at the Le Mans circuit in France for the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France.
The Doctor enjoyed one of the most exciting races of the season so far having fought from his fifth place grid position start to lead the race in the early laps. Quickly into third position, Rossi was then able to hunt down and out-manoeuvre rivals Stefan Bradl and then race leader Andrea Dovizioso to take the lead with 25 laps remaining. The nine-time world champion rode to the limit and had increased the lead to nearly a second before chasing rider Marc Marquez began to close in. With 16 laps to go Rossi ran wide into the last chicane, allowing Marquez past. He tucked in behind and was able to keep a gap to third place to the line, taking his third podium finish of the year with second place.
Teammate Jorge Lorenzo endured a tough Le Mans race. Starting from sixth on the grid, he was firmly placed in the hectic mid-pack for the opening lap in seventh position. The double premier class world champion was able to make passes on first Alvaro Bautista and then fellow Yamaha rider Bradley Smith to secure fifth position with 24 laps to run. He then spent some laps switching between fifth and sixth as he was first passed by Marquez, then recovered ground by Dovizioso before allowing Bautista back past again. A fifth place looked possible as he passed Bradl with 13 laps remaining but it was not to be as Dani Pedrosa was able to make a move four laps later, relegating him to sixth at the line.
Rossi’s third podium of the year adds 20 points to his score, putting him on 81 points, now just two behind Pedrosa in second. Lorenzo takes ten points, keeping him in fifth on 45 points, eight behind Dovizioso in third.
MotoGP now moves to Italy for Rossi’s home race in Mugello in two weeks time.
46 – Valentino Rossi 2nd / +1.486 / 28 laps
“For sure I’m very happy about the race and the result. I made a very good start and when I saw Dovi and Bradl in front I knew I could go faster than them so I overtook. I got in front and tried as hard as possible but it was more difficult with the front today, maybe because the asphalt was hot. Anyway I tried the maximum and my pace was not so bad. I was waiting for Marc or Jorge and Dani to arrive, when Marc arrived I tried to push a lot to stay on the 1’34.0 to make the work difficult for him but in the crucial moment of the race I made a mistake in braking. I braked a little bit too deep and went wide. It’s a great pity as it was too easy for Marc. If not we could have fought a little bit because today I was not so bad, difficult to beat but for sure more fun. I hoped he would wait for me but… he didn’t! We’ll have to try again next week in Mugello, I want to do a good weekend and try to fight with him another time. I’m happy because my target is to be competitive, to stay with the front and fight with them. At this moment I’m not able to win a race but I am always there and I’m enjoying it very much.”
99 – Jorge Lorenzo 6th / +7.088 / 28 laps
“Well, I expected much more of both qualifying and the race because the pace I had shown throughout the different sessions was good. The start was not so bad but I could not overtake any rider in the early laps and it left me riding with not such a good pace, I tried but no luck. I am convinced that our opportunity will arrive soon because we are working well and more and more times we are ahead during the grand prix. Now I’m just thinking about preparing the next race in Mugello.”
Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha MovistarTeam Manager
“That was a really impressive race for Vale even though Marquez won. He made a really good start, worked hard for the lead and just made a little mistake when Marquez was on him. This podium is the result of good work all weekend; the mechanics, engineers and of course Vale put together a good package to achieve it. It is unfortunate that Jorge was unable to finish higher than he did, he also worked hard with his team in all practices and the package looked good for the race following the final warm up this morning. Now we look to Mugello, our first “home” race of the year. It’s a big race for Vale in front of his home crowd and also a big race for Jorge as he has won there for the last few years.”
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