A ‘flag to flag’ race due to rain hindered a good start by the two Repsol Honda Team riders.
Pol Espargaró finished eighth at Le Mans, equaling his best result as a Repsol Honda Team rider to date. Starting well, he climbed up the order and set a good pace, before rainfall led to Race Direction showing a white flag -permitting riders to change bikes.
The switch and the rain both failed to benefit Espargaró, since in the dry the Repsol Honda Team rider had a better feeling. Nevertheless, he claimed 8 valuable points.
Marc Márquez, who started sixth on the grid, was up into fourth early on. He was the first to change bikes just after the white flag came out, and led the race for several laps until suffering a small crash.
He rejoined the race until a second crash -when in eleventh, after climbing six places- put an end to his afternoon.
Espargaró is tenth in the overall standings with 25 points and Márquez seventeenth with 16 points. The next round of the season will be held in Italy in two weeks’s time, at Mugello.
“I’m disappointed with today, we weren’t able to profit from the special situation where normally we feel really comfortable. The positive is that we showed our speed today, even after the crash I was able to be fast on the bike. It’s true that we didn’t use the opportunity that the weather gave to us. The first crash we had can happen in the wet, maybe the tyre was a little cold, but I am more disappointed with the second crash. It was not the time to crash again but we keep learning. Maybe I wasn’t fully concentrated on the track conditions, I was thinking more about changing back to slicks and I arrived at Turn 6 too fast and fell. This is very disappointing. In a normal dry weekend, I know it would be harder, we’re happy with our performance of the weekend but not happy about Sunday because it was not the best Marc on track.”
“It was a very complicated race today. If you’re strong in one condition but not the other in Le Mans it can be like this because often the race is in the middle of conditions. Today we had really good speed in the dry, we showed it throughout the weekend in the dry sessions where we were in the top five. I’m not happy with the result of the race because we struggled in the wet, but on the other hand you’re satisfied to finish a crazy race like this. I think our result would have been much better in the dry, but this is how it is. I think it’s important to look at the positives this weekend because we were strong in the dry and we finished a race where it was very easy to make a mistake.”