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Le Mans: Historical highlights

Le Mans: Historical highlights

Ahead of round five in France recalls some of the recent highlights of Grand Prix racing at Le Mans.

Having hosted a motorcycle Grand Prix event on 20 previous occasions Le Mans has a great history. In a special flashbacks video and in the list below some spectacular recent racing at the famous French circuit is recalled.

The first GP at Le Mans took place in 1969 and there was a something of a one-horse race in the premier class contest, with Giacomo Agostini lapping all the other riders on his all-conquering MV Agusta, but the racing has been much closer in the modern era. Three races in recent memory stand out in particular in the history books:

2003 – Sete Gibernau took MotoGP victory by outdoing Valentino Rossi on the final corner in a race interrupted by rain, while Alex Barros was third. Indeed Spanish riders dominated the event with current MotoGP stars Toni Elias (250cc) and Dani Pedrosa (125cc) winning their respective races.

2005 – Rossi got revenge two years later with a 0.382s victory over Gibernau in another race affected by rain, with the Italian´s Yamaha team-mate Colin Edwards completing the podium. It was a weekend for riders on their way to winning world titles, with Rossi, Dani Pedrosa and Thomas Luthi all winning their respective races after qualifying on pole. This was Luthi´s first ever Grand Prix victory.

2006 – Marco Melandri won the MotoGP race after Rossi had been leading up to lap 20 and then retired with a technical failure. Also stepping onto the rostrum were the experienced Loris Capirossi in second and MotoGP rookie Dani Pedrosa in third. Yuki Takahashi took his first ever GP victory in the 250cc class while Thomas Luthi took his only win of the year in the 125cc class making this the only circuit at which he has had two GP wins.

MotoGP, 2008

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