The race track in Le Mans is always good for a crash. Whether in wet conditions or, as on this Sunday, in the dry, the track is known for crashes. Last year, 118 crashes were recorded, and there was also a lot of graveling during the practice sessions.
Rain was forecast for the MotoGP race. The look up, but quickly showed that rain will be very unlikely. On the contrary, the sky was shining and the sun was burning. For the MotoGP riders it was heat instead of rain. Despite dry conditions, the crashes were not absent. Lap after lap, the riders lost their grip and ended up in the gravel.
Francesco Bagnaia cut the most tragic figure. The Ducati factory rider started the race on pole position and led it for several laps until Enea Bastianini drove him into two mistakes and passed. Bagnaia not only lost the lead, but also the race – his second crash, ended in the gravel. Enea Bastianini was able to drive home unchallenged because victory. Next to him on the podium were Ducati brand colleague Jack Miller (2nd) and Aprilia rider Aleix Espargaro (3rd). For Bastianini it was the third victory this year, thus reaching the third place in the riders’ world championship. In the end, 17 MotoGP riders crossed the finish line and Le Mans once again lived up to its reputation.
The saddest part of this race Sunday for me, however, was Suzuki’s double retirement. After the rumor of Suzuki’s withdrawal had been circulating through the paddock since the Jerez test, it was now confirmed 10 days later on Thursday. Suzuki is withdrawing from MotoGP despite a valid contract with Dorna (running until 2025). Why? Economic reasons and realignment of priorities in the group. You really have to say that something will be missing with Suzuki. The team has proven it in recent years that they are a force to be reckoned with. They crowned themselves world champions in 2020 with Joan Mir and now they are getting out. For the riders and crew, the Le Mans weekend was not easy. Even though Joan Mir and Alex Rins tried to stay positive, perhaps their crashes speak a different language. Who can blame them. You did a good job for years and at the end of the season you are out of a job despite it. Too bad, the paddock will be missing something. Let’s hope that all involved will find a new employer.
In two weeks it goes on in Mugello.
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