A fourth at the Spanish GP saw Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso lose the Championship lead to Jerez winner Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), with second place finisher Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) also leapfrogging Dovizioso in the standings.
Nevertheless, Dovi sits just three points from the summit in third and, this weekend, he’s out to get redemption from last season. A crash at Turn 6 moments after taking the lead put a huge dent in his title ambitions and a similar scenario could have the same affects this year if Marquez repeats his 2018 25 points Le Mans haul.
But, Dovizioso is confident coming into the Shark Helmets Grand Prix de France after showing strong pace last season, on a track that Dovizioso hasn’t had a podium at since 2015. A second place in 2011 is the Italian’s best premier class result in Le Mans, but he has tasted victory in France before – a 125cc win in 2004 helped Dovizioso to the crown that year.
“Le Mans is a track where on paper we should be more competitive than in Jerez, even though the memory of last year is not the best,” commented Dovizioso, looking ahead to a weekend that, judging by the forecasts, could we wet.
“The weather in France is always important and we will have to manage these factors well. I wait for many fast riders, so it will be key to start the weekend well from the first training session to get the most prepared to the race. We are strong in some aspects, but we have to continue polishing some details to be able to show our potential and play our cards on Sunday, which is when the points are distributed. I am confident that in France we can have a good race.”
How will Dovizioso fair in Le Mans? FP1 kicks off at 09:55 local time (GMT+2) on Friday morning – don’t miss it!