Rain in Le Mans. Difficult track conditions. Red flag. Aborted start. Wet Race. All set for an exciting, breathtaking race. One could speak of drama. Yes, if you don’t expect too much.
I would overdramatize it a bit when I talk about a “dramatic race”. It was exciting, but still a race as expected. Because every time it rains, things are different in MotoGP. Suddenly there are riders in front who are very much in the rain. Like a Jack Miller, Bradley Smith or Cal Crutchlow. They all cope better with wet conditions than other riders. That is because of their experience. It’s because of their background. If you learn at a young age to ride a motorcycle even in bad conditions and to be fast, it will always be easier. There they all have an advantage over riders from sunny countries like Italy and Spain.
The second phenomenon is Ducati. In wet conditions, the Italian Diva works excellently, which is due to its structural peculiarity. Actually often a disadvantage, but in wet Le Mans it was an advantage. The wheelbase of the Ducati is a bit longer than the other manufacturers because of the built in Desmodromic in the V4 engine. It gave the Ducati riders more stability in the corners. As a result the factory Ducati riders Danilo Petrucci, Andrea Dovizioso and Pramac Ducati rider Jack Miller dominated the Le Mans race. The Ducati trio led the race, followed by Suzuki rider Alex Rins. From lap 17 the cards were reshuffled. The leading group was joined by KTM rider Pol Espargaro and Repsol Honda rider Alex Marquez. Silently and secretly the two riders worked their way up and wanted to secure their place on the podium. And they succeeded – the Ducati Trio collapsed. First Jack Miller dropped out with a technical defect on lap 19. Then Andrea Dovizioso’s tires reached their limits. The Ducati factory rider had to admit defeat to the approaching rider.
Only Danilo Petrucci was able to hold the Ducati flag high. He managed to take the first victory for Ducati on the Le Mans track. It was his second victory for Ducati. For Honda there was also reason to celebrate. With Alex Marquez’ second place, the successful team made its first podium finish of the season. A fact that probably nobody would believe who has not experienced this season. So unusual and incredible. All this only because Marc Marquez dropped out due to injury. Third place went to KTM rider Pol Espargaro.
It was a wet race, which promised more and still went as expected. But what it has achieved is that the season is more open than ever. We can all be happy about that, because it gives us the desired excitement.
Your Miss MotoGP
Photo by Lucie Eleanor Maack