On the march: will Marquez’ momentum continue in Le Mans?

Agony in Austin, jubilation in Jerez – the Spaniard regained the Championship lead last time out, and he’s aiming to keep it this weekend

After bouncing back to winning ways last time out in Jerez, Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez sits top of the tree as the MotoGP™ circus rolls into Le Mans and the Shark Helmets Grand Prix de France.

The reigning World Champion earned his first ever Grand Prix pole position in Le Mans during his 2009 125cc season, and won his first Moto2™ race at the French layout in 2011. Couple that with his two MotoGP™ wins, including last season’s triumph, indicates that Le Mans is a happy hunting ground for the seven-time Champion.

However, before 2018’s triumph, Marquez had gone on a run of three years without a French GP podium, including consecutive crashes in 2016 and 2017 – so he hasn’t had it all his own way in recent years at the iconic circuit. And, with Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi all breathing down his neck in the title hunt, another slip up could prove costly.

But his dominant display in Jerez, coming off the back of his shock DNF in Austin, proves the number 93 and Honda are as strong as ever. And this weekend, Marquez has the added motivation of equaling his teammate’s MotoGP™ win tally. Both the 26-year-old and Jorge Lorenzo boast 46 premier class victories and if either one of the duo win, along with LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow and Takaaki Nakagami, Honda will reach 300 premier class Grand Prix wins.

“We had a very strong weekend in Jerez and a productive test but this is MotoGP and we must always keep working,” said Marquez, looking ahead to Round 5. “Le Mans can be a tricky GP, especially with the weather so we must be prepared for any conditions. Last year I was able to win here but we always face a lot of opposition.”

Tune in to see how Marquez gets on in FP1 at 09:55 local time (GMT+2) on Friday morning.

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