MotoGP French: Danilo Petrucci Wins Dramatic Wet Race at Le Mans
- The Round 9 of MotoGP 2020, MotoGP French watched Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) sensationally won a dramatic wet race at Le Mans. It is his second victory of premier class since the 2019 Italian GP.
Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda) finished 2nd as his first podium of MotoGP. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM) was 3rd, which is his third time podium of 2020.
A heavy downpour just moments before the race was due to get underway forced a brief delay, with the race soon declared wet for the first time since the 2018 Valencia GP.
Starting the race, Danilo Petrucci, Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and Jack Miller (Pramac Ducati) led. But Valentino Rossi (Monster Yamaha) crashed out on 1st lap. Behind him, Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) and Maverick Vinales (Monster Yamaha) took avoiding action for his crash, dropped out of the points.
Poleman Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha) was fourth, but he gradually move down his position as he struggled on his bike.
Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) followed three Ducati riders and moved up to 2nd. But he crashed at Turn 3 on lap 20. Also, Jack Miller retired with machine trouble on lap 19.
After Alex Rins and Jack Miller out of the race, Alex Marquez and Pol Espargaro moved up to 2nd and 3rd, respectively. But Andrea Dovizioso struggled rear tyre and moved down to 4th.
Finally, Danilo Petrucci took the first victory of 2020. Fabio Quartararo and Joan Mir were 9th and 11th, each. Fabio Quartararo still extends his championship lead to 10 points over Joan Mir, with Andrea Dovizioso 18 points adrift.
Danilo Petrucci said, “It has been a long period since the season finale last year and the beginning of the season has been difficult for me, but I felt very confident after Barcelona and I came here with the will to step on the podium. I didn't expect the rain today, but after this morning I knew I could fight for the podium in the dry - I thought it's the same for everyone. At the start I thought to go in front and stay away from problems, I didn't know how much water was on the track but I managed to stay up and keep the rhythm.
[When] the season started, the changes with the rear tyre made me struggle a lot. I worked on the electronics but it wasn't the way, so in the end at Misano we found something and in Barcelona the bike felt like I wanted it. Then here, I knew I had a big opportunity and made it.
In the wet it is about the feeling you have, but it doesn't happen in MotoGP that if you are not feeling good in the dry, you are fast in the wet because though I am good in the wet, all the riders in MotoGP are good in every condition.
The improvements I did in Barcelona helped me to get onto the front row and get confidence to arrive here with much more feeling on the bike, so I could make a good qualifying and be fast in every condition. The bike works better and I like it.
It was a big help to have fans here because they put up a mega screen and I could see Alex [Rins] come very fast. I saw Pol was fast too, so I could manage but I was scared of Alex [Marquez] coming through the last laps because he is a really good rider in the wet.
Fortunately I had Dovi between me and Alex (Marquez) who was coming really fast in the last three or four laps, so I just tried to stay upright. There was a slightly dry line and I had no rear tyre but I managed to win. It's been a long period but I am really happy to be here.
It has been a crazy year, because the season hadn't started but I lost my seat and it felt like nobody trusted me. Then there were other movements and other people trusted me.
For sure I have to thank all of my team and people at home that always trusted me and believed I am good riding the bike, this is the proof I can win MotoGP races.”
SHARK Helmets Grand Prix de France Race Results
- Danilo Petrucci / Ducati Team / 45m 54.736s
- Alex Marquez / Repsol Honda / +1.273s
- Pol Espargaro / Red Bull KTM / +1.711s
- Andrea Dovizioso / Ducati Team / +3.911s
- Johann Zarco / Reale Avintia / +4.310s
- Miguel Oliveira / Red Bull KTM Tech3 / +4.466s
- Takaaki Nakagami / LCR Honda / +5.921s
- Stefan Bradl / Repsol Honda / +15.597s
- Fabio Quartararo / Petronas Yamaha / +16.687s
- Maverick Viñales / Monster Yamaha / +16.895s
- Joan Mir / Suzuki Ecstar / +16.980s
- Brad Binder / Red Bull KTM / +27.321s
- Francesco Bagnaia / Pramac Ducati / +33.351s
- Aleix Espargaro / Aprilia Gresini / +39.176s
- Iker Lecuona / Red Bull KTM Tech3 / +51.087s
- Alex Rins / Suzuki Ecstar / +14.190s
- source : MotoGP