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French riders have enjoyed a record-breaking start to the 2015 World Championship season; can it get better in Le Mans?
French riders have had a great start to the 2015 campaign, and a number of records and milestones have already been achieved in the opening four races of the year:
At the opening race of the year in Qatar, Alexis Masbou qualified on pole for the first time in his grand prix career, in what was his 141st grand prix start.
Alexis Masbou won the race at Qatar to become the first French rider since Arnaud Vincent in 2002 to win at the opening grand prix event of the year.
Fabio Quartararo’s second place finish at the Grand Prix of the Americas made him, at the age of 15 years 357 days, the youngest French rider ever to stand on a grand prix podium in the 67-year history of motorcycle grand prix racing, taking the record from Mike di Meglio.
Zarco’s win in Argentina was his second GP victory; his other was in the 125cc class at Motegi in 2011. He is the first French rider to win grand prix in both the lightweight-class (Moto3™/125cc) and the intermediate-class (Moto2™/250cc) of grand prix racing.
Zarco is only the second French rider to win a grand prix in the Moto2™ class, the other being Jules Cluzel, who won at Silverstone in 2010.
Following his win in Argentina, Zarco was the first French rider to top the intermediate-class championship standings since Randy de Puniet led the 250cc table following the Dutch TT in 2004.
This is the first year that French riders have taken wins in two different classes in the same season since 2005, when Randy de Puniet won a race in the 250cc class and Mike di Meglio in the 125cc class.
At the Spanish grand prix Fabio Quartararo started from pole for the first time, in only his fourth grand prix appearance. At the age of 16 years 13 days he is the second youngest rider of all-time to start a grand prix race from pole position, after Marco Melandri who started the 125cc race at the Sachsenring from pole in 1998 at the age of 15 years 346 days.
Zarco finished second at Jerez to become the first French rider to finish on the podium at three successive intermediate-class GP races since Randy de Puniet in 2004.
Following the second place finish in Spain, Zarco heads the championship table by sixteen points, and is the first French rider to arrive at his home grand prix leading the championship standings in any class since Randy de Puniet had an eight point lead in the 250cc championship standings from Roberto Rolfo heading to Le Mans in 2004
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