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MotoGP™ squad prepares for the challenge of the #FrenchGP

MotoGP™ squad prepares for the challenge of the #FrenchGP

The MotoGP™ riders kick off the French GP with the pre-event press conference.

The traditional press conference on Thursday officially marks the opening of the fifth round of the 2015 MotoGP ™ World Championship, which visits the circuit of Le Mans this weekend.

The top 4 riders in the championship Valentino Rossi (ITA), Andrea Dovizioso (ITA), Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) & Marc Marquez (SPA) were joined by Pol Espargaro (SPA) and Moto2 rider Johann Zarco (FRA).

Current championship leader Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha), who finished in 3rd place at the last race in Jerez & has 3 premier class wins at Le Mans to his name, said: “It’s been a great start to the season, especially for the 2 victories and because I was always on the podium, which is important for the championship.

“Jorge started with difficulty but his performance in Jerez was fantastic - fastest from Friday to Saturday. Jorge is always fast in Le Mans, historically it’s a good track for the Yamaha too. Last year Marc was faster, but we have to see if this year we are closer.

“It’s not my best track, there’s not a lot of grip and the weather is an issue: cold in the mornings and low temperature in the afternoon. This means you have to use soft tyres for grip.”

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) has a total of 7 career podium finishes here at Le Mans and 1 win in the 125cc class in his championship-winning season. He claims his recent testing session at Mugello was crucial for this GP: “The Mugello test was important, at Jerez we went the wrong way with testing & we weren’t so competitive. I’m happy now because we come here with a much better feel than in Jerez.”

Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo, who was the undisputed ruler of the Jerez GP, hopes for similar success at the French track: “In Jerez everything was perfect from the beginning. Le Mans is a new story, anything can change. But at Jerez I was good on corner entry, if I can keep this feeling at Le Mans I can be competitive.

“Le Mans is a good track for Yamaha historically, last year Marc was strong, but we still finished on the podium. This year the Yamaha is better & I think we have a big chance.”

The reigning world champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) may not be a huge fan of the Le Mans circuit, but his results speak for themselves: “6 years ago I got my first pole position here. My first Moto2 victory was here too. I don’t like it a lot but normally I get good results.

“Last year I arrived here in a very different position, but we have 14 races left so there is no panic.”

Speaking on his recent finger injury, Marquez added: “My finger is at 100%, it’s a bit bigger than usual [laughs], but I have the power in it back.”

23-year-old Pol Espargaró (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) claimed the best result of his rookie season last year in Le Mans with fourth place: “In Jerez we recovered some confidence and I think we have a good feeling to come to the home GP for the team. We hope it will be close to last year. I like the track - I have good results here in 125 & Moto2 and last year in MotoGP I had surprising results. We will try to repeat it!”

French Moto2 ™ rider Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) joined the conference as a special guest to share his excitement over racing in his home Grand Prix, especially since it’s 11 years since a French rider arrived for the French GP leading the championship: “I don’t have too much pressure, 16 points advantage is good and I want to keep this mindframe and enjoy being on the bike.”

Tomorrow the three classes of MotoGP World Championship take to the track for Free Practice sessions FP1 and FP2. The actions starts at 9am local time with Moto3 FP1.

MotoGP, 2015, MONSTER ENERGY GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE, Valentino Rossi, Andrea Dovizioso, Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo, Repsol Honda Team, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, Ducati Team

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