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Contenders crash at Le Mans: Zarco, Dovi and Iannone

Three big names in the premier class react to crashing out of Sunday's French GP

After a superb qualifying session on Saturday, Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and 100,000 French fans were dreaming of a home victory on Sunday at the HJC Helmets Grand Prix de France. Unfortunately, the dream instead turned into a nightmare, with Zarco crashing out at Turn 8 early in the race. He wasn’t the only Championship contender to end the race in the gravel though, with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) crashing of the lead on lap five, and Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) falling victim to la Chapelle on the opening lap.

Zarco: "A shame, but it's a good lesson"

He continued, “I have to be more than 100% to think how I’m going to overtake him and this made the race very complicated for me. Marc overtook me and I couldn’t wait behind the guys because I would have lost even more positions, that’s why I tried to get second place back immediately, but then in that corner (Turn 8) I came in a bit too fast and the bike was still heavy with the fuel, I tried to lean to make the corner but I crashed, I didn’t expect to crash. So, it’s a shame, with it being the French GP and all the crowd screaming my name, but I think it’s a good lesson.”

Meanwhile, Dovizioso was another rider who had looked strong all weekend on board his GP18, and after making a solid start, the Italian passed his teammate for the lead at Turn 2. However, on the run down to la Chapelle, disaster struck for the Qatar race winner, who admitted it was his own error that led to the costly crash. “It was clear I did a small mistake but this was enough. I’m very disappointed because it is unacceptable to make this sort of mistake when you have more speed than the other riders.”

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‘DesmoDovi’ went on to explain what happened in greater detail, as well as expressing his disappointment after showing serious speed all weekend. “I did a small mistake, I was a little bit out, the rear moved, the weight moved to the front but I didn’t care because I didn’t expect to lose the front. I’m very disappointed for the team because we worked very well this weekend, from the first practice we were fast and we improved the bike during the practice, we did everything perfect.”

It wasn’t the day Iannone would have hoped for either. The Italian made a strong start from the second row of the grid, but he too fell victim at la Chapelle, crashing out of the race on the opening lap. “It was a really strange crash, for sure I’m not very happy about this race because we had a really good potential, you see Dovi crash and Zarco crash so I think we had a really good potential to stay on the podium.”