Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Ready to Fight in France

After today's Portimão MotoGP Official Test, Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team-mates Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi will head to France for the ninth round of the MotoGP championship, held at the Le Mans Bugatti Circuit.
Le Mans (France), 7th October 2020
Following today's testing day at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal, the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team will be all set to go to work on their 2020 MotoGP World Championship quest again this weekend at the Le Mans Bugatti Grand Prix race circuit.

Viñales holds third in the championship standings, 18 points from first, as he prepares for the triple header held over the next three weeks, starting in France. Knowing that the Le Mans track usually is well-suited to the Yamaha YZR-M1’s nimble character, he is approaching this round with a positive mindset.

The number-12 rider’s goal for this weekend is to pay a visit to the French premier class rostrum again, of which he has fond memories. In 2017 the Spaniard secured a hard-fought win there, and one year earlier he scored a third-place race result.

Rossi made frequent appearances at the front of the field lately, but suffered two-consecutive luckless NC results in Misano and Catalunya. Because of this, the Italian is currently joint tenth in the overall rankings, 50 points from the top. But there are still six rounds left and a maximum of 150 points to gain, leaving the championship battle wide open.

The Doctor is determined to create himself another opportunity to climb onto the podium. Traditionally, he scores competitive results at the Grand Prix of France. Throughout his premier class career he has collected three victories at Le Mans (2002, 2005, and 2008), six second places (2003, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2016), and four third places (2000, 2001, 2011, and 2018).

The Bugatti Grand Prix race circuit was built in 1965, just a few kilometres from the city of Le Mans. MotoGP made its first visit to the iconic French track in the late sixties, and it remained a fixture until 1995. After some safety modifications, the 4.2km-long circuit was added back to the calendar in 2000. Its lay-out of five left and nine right corners places the emphasis on late braking, hard acceleration, and rear-end traction, which makes for some great battles, such as the head-to-head between Viñales and Rossi in 2017 to score Yamaha its 500th Grand Prix win.
Massimo Meregalli

Massimo Meregalli

Team Director

We are ready for another triple header. This time we start with the race in Le Mans. We think the French GP could be a good opportunity for us to show our potential. The Le Mans track is usually a good circuit for us, the team has celebrated in Parc Fermé many a time at this track. We want to exploit any possibilities for top results this weekend and be competitive starting from FP1 all the way to Sunday’s race, regardless of the weather conditions. We haven’t had much rain on a Sunday so far this season. This weekend’s race might be our first wet race of 2020, so we have to be prepared. We are fully motivated to get some good results, and we know Maverick and Vale are too, so we aim to have both our riders fight at the front.
Maverick Viñales

Maverick Viñales

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Rider

We have left what happened in Montmeló behind us now and continue to focus on the job at hand. I’m feeling positive. We know that Le Mans is a circuit that can suit our bike if we work well. I actually really like that track too. I’ve gotten some good results there in the past, so I think we can do well again this weekend. But, as always in Le Mans, the weather can be a decisive factor for how the race weekend plays out, especially now we come to this circuit much later in the year than usual. I’m curious to see what we can do there.
Valentino Rossi

Valentino Rossi

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Rider

For sure, the final result in Catalunya was a pity, but the positive thing we take away from it is that we are fast enough to battle for the podium, and I think we can also try something during the weekend in France. Le Mans is a track that I like a lot, and we are usually competitive there. The goal is to keep up the work we did in Catalunya and battle at the front again. We will do our best to fight for the podium. Let’s hope for, if not good, at least some consistent weather, so we can be fully prepared for Sunday’s race.