Top spot for Dani after Le Mans

2013-05-20 07:39

LE MANS, France - Spain's Dani Pedrosa claimed top spot in the MotoGP World championship when he won his maiden French GP on a wet Le Mans course on Sunday.

The Honda rider took the lead midway through the race to beat Britain's Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) and Spanish rookie Marc Marquez (Honda), second and third respectively.

Pedrosa has 83 points after the fourth leg of the 18-race championship and leads Marquez by six points while Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo, a disappointing seventh on Sunday, is on 66.


It was Pedrosa's second victory in a row after he rode to the limit in tough conditions. "It has been a great race for me because I didn't expect it," he told Eurosport. "I always have problems here, with the temperature, the tyres are cold for me, and I never get good grip.

"In 2012 I struggled a lot in the same race conditions but today (May 19 2013) I got some good grip on the tyres, especially at the front, so my braking was good.

"When I was in front I made a couple of mistakes, almost ran out twice and was on the limit."

Marquez, who started on pole as World championship leader, fell behind early in the race but produced a skilful performance to end up on the podium - a result he did not expect either.

The 20-year-old prodigy made a few mistakes, almost crashing while fighting for position with Lorenzo, but eventually managed to focus on his own performance.

"At the beginning and in the first laps the feeling was not so good," he said. "I was struggling a lot to get rear grip, I nearly crashed many times. I went wide one time so I didn't expect to finish on the podium.

"But then I was focused on my race, tried to do my best and step by step I went towards the front."

Nine-times World champion Valentino Rossi of Italy slid off the track 11 laps from the end. He recovered to finish 12th.

Crutchlow, however, managed to stay on the bike this time. The man from the Isle of Man had a medical before the race to check whether he was fit after he suffered a small fracture of a shin in a crash during a free practice session on Saturday.

"It's nice to finally get that podium,” he said after his best MotoGP result so far. “I hope from now on we can be injury-free. I knew Dovvy (Italian Andrea Dovizioso) would crack in the end with some pressure.”

"He was slowing up quite a lot and he let Dani get away, which was disappointing, but I was happy enough.”

Crutchlow, now fourth in the World standings on 55 points, added: "It was a difficult race. I couldn't see anything, that was the main problem. When you’re behind the rider the stuff sticks to the visor so whatever Dovvy was spraying up, it was like mud and it was stuck to the visor and I couldn't see much.”

There was more cheer for Britain when Scott Redding won the Moto2 aboard a Kalex.

Maverick Vinales led a Spain/KTM 1-2-3 when he won the Moto3 race.

Results from the 2013 French Motorcycle GP at Le Mans
1 Dani Pedrosa (Spain) Honda 49min17.707
2 Cal Crutchlow (Britain) Yamaha 49min22.570
3 Marc Marquez (Spain) Honda 49min24.656
4 Andrea Dovizioso (Italy) Ducati 49min27.794
5 Nicky Hayden (U.S.) Ducati 49min36.178
6 Alvaro Bautista (Spain) Honda 49min41.268
7 Jorge Lorenzo (Spain) Yamaha 49min45.668
8 Michele Pirro (Italy) Ducati 49min58.482
9 Bradley Smith (Britain) Yamaha 49min59.114
10 Stefan Bradl (Germany) Honda 50min18.702
11 Andrea Iannone (Italy) Ducati 50min22.817
12 Valentino Rossi (Italy) Yamaha 50min34.075
13 Aleix Espargaro (Spain) Aprilia 50min41.907
14 Danilo Petrucci (Italy) Ioda 50min43.433
15 Karel Abraham (Czech Republic) Aprilia 50min49.818

Results from the 2013 Le Mans Motorcycle GP Moto2
1 Scott Redding (Britain) Kalex 36min43.583
2 Mika Kallio (Finland) Kalex 36min44.673
3 Xavier Simeon (Belgium) Kalex 36min44.817
4 Dominique Aegerter (Switzerland) Suter 36min45.284
5 Johann Zarco (France) Suter 36min45.442
6 Mattia Pasini (Italy) Speed up 36min55.855
7 Mike Di Meglio (France) Motobi 36min55.961
8 Julian Simon (Spain) Kalex 37min13.295
9 Anthony West (Australia) Speed up 37min14.062
10 Alex de Angelis (San Marino) Speed up 37min14.818
11 Randy Krummenacher (Switzerland) Suter 37min15.118
12 Simone Corsi (Italy) Speed up 37min15.258
13 Sandro Cortese (Germany) Kalex 37min15.500
14 Marcel Schroetter (Germany) Kalex 37min19.361
15 Louis Rossi (France) Tech 3 37min28.628

Standings after the 2013 Motorcycle GP
1 Dani Pedrosa (Spain) Honda - 83
2 Marc Marquez (Spain) Honda - 77
3 Jorge Lorenzo (Spain) Yamaha - 66
4 Cal Crutchlow (Britain) Yamaha - 55
5 Valentino Rossi (Italy) Yamaha - 47
6 Andrea Dovizioso (Italy) Ducati - 39
7 Alvaro Bautista (Spain) Honda - 38
8 Nicky Hayden (US) Ducati - 35
9 Aleix Espargaro (Spain) Aprilia - 20
10 Andrea Iannone (Italy) Ducati - 18
11 Stefan Bradl (Germany) Honda - 17
12 Bradley Smith (Britain) Yamaha - 17
13 Michele Pirro (Italy) Ducati - 13
14 Ben Spies (US) Ducati - 9
15 Hector Barbera (Spain) FTR - 7

Standings after the 2013 Le Mans Moto 2
1 Scott Redding (Britain) Kalex - 76
2 Esteve Rabat (Spain) Pons Kalex - 52
3 Mika Kallio (Finland) Kalex - 47
4 Dominique Aegerter (Switzerland) Suter - 47
5 Pol Espargaro (Spain) Pons Kalex - 41
6 Nicolas Terol (Spain) Suter - 38
7 Xavier Simeon (Belgium) Kalex - 35
8 Takaaki Nakagami (Japan) Kalex - 29
9 Johann Zarco (France) Suter - 28
10 Alex de Angelis (San Marino) Speed up - 22
11 Anthony West (Australia) Speed up - 20
12 Mattia Pasini (Italy) Speed up - 18
13 Julian Simon (Spain) Kalex - 18
14 Jordi Torres (Spain) Suter - 16
15. Simone Corsi (Italy) Speed up - 15

Result from the 2013 Le Mans Motorcycle GP Moto3
1 Maverick Vinales (Spain) KTM 42min05.448
2 Alex Rins (Spain) KTM 42min06.712
3 Luis Salom (Spain) KTM 42min06.835
4 Jonas Folger (Germany) Kalex 42min20.041
5 Alex Marquez (Spain) KTM 42min43.397
6 Jakub Kornfeil (Czech Republic) Kalex 42min45.743
7 Romano Fenati (Italy) FTR 42min48.773
8 Brad Binder (South Africa) Suter 42min48.985
9 Alexis Masbou (France) FTR 42min50.959
10 Isaac Vinales (Spain) FTR 42min51.122
11 John McPhee (Britain) FTR 42min56.900
12 Jack Miller (Australia) FTR 42min57.040
13 Arthur Sissis (Australia) KTM 43min04.161
14 Alessandro Tonucci (Italy) Honda 43min04.418
15 Philipp OEttl (Germany) Kalex 43min23.475

Standings after the 2013 Motorcycle GP Moto3
1 Maverick Vinales (Spain) KTM - 90
2 Luis Salom (Spain) KTM - 77
3 Alex Rins (Spain) KTM - 61
4 Jonas Folger (Germany) Kalex - 53
5 Brad Binder (South Africa) Suter - 32
6 Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Malaysia) KTM - 28
7 Jakub Kornfeil (Czech Republic) Kalex - 27
8 Alex Marquez (Spain) KTM - 24
9 Alexis Masbou (France) FTR - 23
10 Miguel Oliveira (Portugal) Mahindra - 20
11 Arthur Sissis (Australia) KTM - 19
12 Niklas Ajo (Finland) KTM -18
13 Romano Fenati (Italy) FTR - 17
14 Efren Vazquez (Spain) Mahindra - 16
15 Jack Miller (Australia) FTR - 14