On his YouTube channel, now very popular, Jorge Lorenzo has been giving out his report cards to the riders for the French GP and, in addition, he went into detail over the diatribe on the holeshot device and on a possible change of date for the Le Mans race.
On the first topic, Jorge limited himself to an explanation of the facts, underlining how Dorna's CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta has, in fact, approved the device for the future as well. As for a possible date change at the French GP, the Spanish champion said he was in favour, given the large number of crashes, and also suggested an analysis on the Phillip Island GP.
But here are Jorge Lorenzo's report cards, referring to the Le Mans GP.
It was 5 years since Miller had achieved a victory in Jerez and as soon as he achieved that, he goes and gets another consecutive at Le Mans. The confidence and security that a victory gives to any rider is incredible, it makes you believe in yourself a bit more, ride with confidence and perform better in general. That’s what happened with Jack. He also returned to the front row again, it went well, he came out first, he was overtaken by Vinales but he was there when an opportunity presented itself. This time it wasn’t Quartararo’s forearm problem, but the so-called ‘flag-to-flag’ where he is a specialist and moves with his element, because Jack was there to take advantage of it. Also when Jack went off the track and was in third position with Marc in front of him. Marc who is one of the specialists in those conditions, made a mistake and fell down, he left the next specialist free, which is Jack, to ride calmly. And little by little he recovered ground from Quartararo that in the wet asphalt due to the characteristics of the MR is not a strong and dangerous as in dry conditions. For Jack it was relatively simple to have patience, overcome him and achieve a higher pace. As an interesting fact, it has been a long time, almost 10 years, since an Australian hadn't achieved a double victory consecutively since Casey Stoner and that has an important merit, so congratulations Jack, enjoy the victory as I saw you do with your celebrations. It's your moment now.
After two difficult races with his crash in Portimao and a rather discrete result in Jerez where he was overshadowed by Miller and Bagnaia, Johann returned to the podium with another second place making it his third one with a very solid race. Especially in the water conditions he held up very well with a very competitive bike and he was quite close to Miller at the end. As I thought he re-engages a little in the championship, being tested by Quartararo and Bagnaia in the race. He's quite close to the leader and as a curious fact about the brand, Ducati has three riders in the top four, which shows that the bike as has happened in these races is competitive on all kinds of circuits.
This was a great result for Fabio Quartararo after finishing before Bagnaia and he returned to the leadership of the World Championship. The truth is that it wasn't easy at all because he was returning from a complicated surgery and even being injured, he was again the fastest over one lap achieving the pole position. The truth is that Yamaha's bike was really bad in the rain with a lot of water in some of the practice sessions but throughout Vinales and Rossi were further behind the 15th position. The truth is that he held up very well limiting damage and not losing much time with Miller and that allowed him to continue his second position then he lost that second position at the end with the Ducati.
The consistency of Francesco Bagnaia continues, and apart from that race in Qatar, where he finished outside the top five years he has always being among the best four. It was a difficult race where it was very easy to fail and he wasn't really comfortable because Miller was clearly faster all weekend. In those difficult moments you have to know how to stay calm for each race and get a good handful of points as he has done this time. This is what champions do, they win when they can and when they cannot they try to limit the damage by finishing second, third, fourth or even fifth. That's what Bagnaia has done today and let's hope he continues like this so that he can fight for the world championship until the end.
As I already mentioned in the preview Le Mans is a favourite circuit for Danilo Petrucci who with his great breakings is a great breaker, he takes advantage of his strengths as well as taking advantage of circumstances. For him in the rain bike he really has a higher weight than the other riders, always transfers a little weight on the rear wheel and acquires a little more traction in conditions of water. In very cool conditions his high weight helps him but in other conditions, they may also harm him and he obtained a meritorious fifth place. I don't think this result affects his problems with being competitive in dry conditions, but morally it surely gives him a push to believe a little more in the himself.
It is true that in dry conditions at the beginning of the race he started to get a little off the hook two and a half seconds away, but he began to feel better and more comfortable than the other riders who fear him a little more and feel that they're a little less in control of the situation. He quickly began to come back, reducing those seconds by a couple of laps and even before the bike changer he had already passed Quartararo in the pit lane, it seemed that circumstances had allowed with him and he already came out of the pits in first position and everything indicated that he was going to get his first victory after a long time. Honestly when I saw him on television I saw him with so much confidence and so aggressive in the early stages of race when he was already starting on water tyres. I started to fear he may fall because he was too confident and there was still a long race to go. Unfortunately my fears came true when I saw him on the ground. In the end he took the bike and went back out on the track from the 15th position and up to that moment it was either all or nothing. A real shame, especially that first fall because he could almost taste victory and it would have been a great joy after so many months of suffering.
It was a great race for the young Iker Lecuona, who repeated his best position in 9th place in MotoGP after overtaking Vinales at the last corner. As in Petrucci’s case, let's hope that this result will improve his self-esteem to try and repeat this result in dry conditions, which is really what counts or even improve it.
Substantial improvement for Valentino, where he was much faster than in previous races, especially in dry conditions, which is the important thing at the end and where 90% of the races take place. We saw a Valentino similar to 2020 when even though it wasn't his best years, he was regularly in the top 10. I hope that the improvements they felt this weekend are due to that Jerez test, having found something that makes them improve their sensations in order to maintain them in the following races.