MotoGP Roundup – Le Mans, France.

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A solid weekend for our Binder boys.

By: The Karr report.

French MotoGP fans were not left wanting this weekend – the Le Mans Bugatti Grand Prix circuit delivered yet another full course feast of motorcycle racing epicness.

They even got more sunshine than usual.


Race One:

Who cropdusted this lot with Aggression Dust? It was more akin to bumper cars than a MotoE race. We’re not complaining, just in case you were thinking we were complaining. Because we’re not.

Race One started for all but one rider – Davies, we think? – who got stuck on the grid with his hand up, at least temporarily.

Tulovic decided to bail on the race at Turn Six, opting for a bit of sightseeing instead, before returning to the action.

On the second lap, Pons went off in a cloud of dust, and couldn’t lift his bike.

We lost Broccoli, or rather Roccoli, on Lap Three.

Granado and Zaccone went at each other during the third lap, until a cutback-move from Granado ended up in a little contact and a lot of Zaccone crashing out at Turn Four. A very unhappy Zaccone performed the Angry Starfish next to the track, a well-known indicator of one’s unhappiness with a rider who was still on the track while you were not.

During Lap Four, Garzó slid off on his hand and knee after a heated front-runner battle, somehow remaining about eighty-percent mounted on his sliding machine. Once he’d come to a standstill, he howled at the skies in despair.

More contact was made, more paint swapped, but at least no more riders went flailing off the track. Spinelli took a comfortable win, while Zannoni claimed his best-ever MotoE result in the form of second place. Casadei fended off all attacks on his third position, and thusly took the record for the most podium-finishes in a row in MotoE – ten, to be exact. Well done.

Race Two:

Race Two saw an exciting battle for the win. It also saw Mantovani’s electric Ducati momentarily turn into an electric bunny on the first lap, hopping happily mid-pack. Somehow, Mantovani managed to get it back under control before a massive crash could ensue.

Garzó’s French weekend got even worse when he skidded off on Lap Three, on his arse, all the while cussing out his fleeing bike.

During the fourth lap, we lost rookie Pontone to Turn Six, and Granado to Turn Thirteen.

Zannone was awarded a Long Lap ticket for taking a shortcut at Turn Four.

On the final lap, Torres slipped from the track with enough speed to end up right up against the walls.

Spinelli fended off Casadei in spectacular fashion in order to make it two wins for two at Le Mans. Casadei thus had to be content with second, while Gutierrez finished in a very happy third. Considering that Gutierrez learned the Le Mans layout by playing on his Playstation, that’s pretty impressive.

Moto3: What fantastic racing from the juniors!

Rubbing is racing. And so is elbowing. Oh, but those overtakes! Glory days!

Zurutuza had his Q2 attempt scrubbed off the board for weighing almost two kilos less than he needed to. It only cost him two positions on the grid, at least.

Adrián Fernández and Josh Whatley both started the race with Double Long Laps to their names.

During the race, many Long Lap Penalties were awarded for shortcuts: Almansa, Zurutuza, and Furusato all got ‘em; Furusato enjoyed the Long Lap Loop so much, he did it twice. Dettwiler had to go through the Long Lap for flirting with the green paint one too many times.

A despondent Farioli ducked into the pits after just one lap, waving his arms about in the universal sign for ‘This bloody sucks!’.

It was a helluva close race. By the eighth lap, the top twenty were within three seconds of each other.

During the eighth lap, Rossi passed Muñoz, but ran a few millimetres wide into Turn Eleven right thereafter – you know Muñoz wouldn’t let a gap pass him by. He bombed his way down Rossi’s inside, but the gap closed and the two riders rubbed a little bit too hard, sending Rossi flailing off the circuit. 

Ricci made it clear what he thought of David’s antics, and soon Muñoz received a ping on his dash informing him of his Double Long Lap penalty for helping Rossi into the dust. This flipped a switch in Muñoz’s brain from ‘somewhat aggressive’ to ‘Berserker Mode’ – he went charging straight into the lead within a few seconds, before serving his first Long Lap.

Shortly after serving his second, however, Muñoz crashed out on Lap Fifteen, at the very corner where he’d punted Rossi out of the race. He rejoined, tapping his helmet absently, and retired to his pit box by the end of the lap.

Ogden crashed out somewhere along Lap Eleven.

Alonso made a dive on Veijer early on the fourteenth lap, but Veijer didn’t notice the attacking Columbian until he banged into him, which dislodged Colin’s arse from his seat momentarily. Luckily, Veijer remained upright, and Alonso even waved an apparent apology at him.

At the end of Lap Fifteen, Bertelle was spotted cruising down the straight, having clearly picked up a hitchhiking technical gremlin. Once he was off the track, he opted to hold on to the wall and practice some calming yoga stances.

Carraro chewed pebbles on the very last lap, crashing at the sixth turn.

But boy, everyone’s attention was fixed firmly on the lead battle, especially during the last three laps. There was no runaway leader; no gaps were pulled. Instead, they were piling into corners three or more abreast, causing major heart arrhythmias within the pits and amongst the watching hordes.

Alonso, being Alonso, made a signature move for the lead on the final lap, holding Holgado at bay in order to claim victory. Holgado, having led most of the race, had to settle for second place. In third came Veijer, who’d also held the lead a few times.

Veijer Wheelie post-race: ten out of ten, perfect form!


The action started early, and never really stopped for the entire twenty-two laps.

Canet was punted wide three turns into the race, essentially becoming airborne and still managing not to crash. Instead, he blasted his way up into second, a position he very nearly held until the end.

Most people after a serious injury-due-to-crashing would take some time to regain composure.

Not Arón: If anything, he was a hot-blooded bull this weekend, riding like he didn’t even notice the broken bones. The only giveaway to his discomfort was his frequent leg-lifting.

Lots of crashes, less replays. Baltus tumbled at the final turn of Lap Three.

Bendsneyder-replacement, Muñoz – no, not THAT Muñoz, a different one – had a fall on Lap Four, and opted for the scenic cruise around the track back to the pits.

On Lap Six, Van Den Goorbergh clattered down at Turn Eight. He rejoined later, only to receive a Long Lap Penalty for a shortcut by the sixteenth lap.

Also on the sixth lap, González went a-sliding out the podium battle. He was on his feet faster than the eye could process, but had to execute a little ballerina-twirl in order to locate his fallen ride, which happened to be right next to him. He, too, rejoined.

Moreira popped into pit lane by the end of Lap Eleven, ending his race.

On the sixteenth lap, Artigas did his impression of a happy chimpanzee rolling on the ground at Turn Six. Though we’re pretty certain he was neither a chimpanzee, nor happy at the time.

Dixon tried to worm his way down the inside of Agius on Lap Sixteen, only to pile right into the Australian. Miraculously neither of them crashed, and only Dixon had to take a short detour.

Like the Junior riders before them, the Moto2 race’s final laps proved to be the most nerve-wracking. 

By now, everyone was rooting for Canet, who’d somehow managed to set fastest lap after fastest lap, holding on to second place for what must’ve felt like years. But, alas, on the second-last lap, he was caught by López.

Still, a podium finish looked likely; until López became sloppy, nearly causing a pile-up and thusly killing what lead they’d had over the rest.

It was painful to witness Canet being forced off the track, leaving him in a final position of sixth by the time he crossed the finish line. 

Reminder: The guy’s got a bloody broken foot/leg.

García cruised to a comfortable win, oblivious to all the mayhem behind him all race long. And with Canet out of the fight, it was Ogura who claimed second – after starting seventeenth. Talk about comebacks!

López snatched the final podium spot by sheer determination alone.

Darryn had a clean, quiet race, ending in fourteenth.

Teammates García and Ogura decided to wow the crowds by celebrating their one-two finish with a wheelie-duet down the back straight. We were successfully wowed. 

Thanks Boys!.


The Martin Show.

Saturday Sprint Race:

Holy moly, what a crazy race.

Brad got a magical launch.

Pecco, on the other hand, seemed to have found a hidden reverse gear on his Ducati, and got stuck in it. By Lap Three he had a wobble that sent him on a trip through the gravel at Turn Seven; soon after, he pulled into the pits, a thunderhead following him into his box.

Espargaró Senior was slapped with a double Long Lapper for jumping the start.

On Lap Four, Mir’s bike went spinning off, leaving its rider sitting on the track at Turn Eight.

Still on Turn Eight, but three laps after Mir’s offing, Rins binned it; at the same time, Binder dropped a handful of places.

Bezzecchi was sitting pretty in second when, suddenly, he found himself sitting in the kitty litter outside Turn Nine, less than four laps shy of race-end.

Having led basically the whole race, Martín took another comfortable Sprint Race victory, well ahead of Márquez Senior in an impressive second place, and Viñales in third.

After the ‘Rins Incident’, Brad wasn’t able to get back quite as many places, ending up fifteenth over the finish line.

Main Race:

As the clouds gave empty threats of rain, we were treated to yet another epic MotoGP race.

Side note here: Fabio Quartararo was looking Fabulous in his home-race leathers and livery combo.

Moto GP Le Mans 24

Mister Rookie Sensation’s race ended prematurely, with a slip-and-fall on only the third lap. His GasGas had its fairing properly grated off on its way over the gravel of Turn Eight.

Bezzecchi went sliding at Turn Six one lap later; he trudged off, flapping his arms about in pure frustration.

A shortcut through Turn Nine earned Rins a Long Lapper…

On Lap Twelve, a hefty overtake attempt from Bastianini forced Espargaró – Aleix, that is – to take the scenic route through Turn Ten, a detour he openly did not approve of. Unfortunately for Bastianini, he also ran wide, albeit not AS wide as Aleix, and this was counted as taking a shortcut, which led to him receiving a Long Lap Penalty.

Mir went down near the end of the fifteenth lap…

French fans went into an uproar when Quartararo tumbled out at Turn Nine, knocking his wind out a little, during Lap Seventeen. One young admirer in the crowd was weeping inconsolably, while thousands around him shook the earth with their cries.

Miller also had a crash on Lap Seventeen. It wasn’t as important to the crowd, though.

Shortcutting through Turn Four, DiGi caught his share of the Long Lap Penalty quota.

Oliveira stealthily retreated to the pits on Lap Nineteen, seeking out some choice escargot while the race continued without him.

More last-laps of mayhem? You got it! 

It was a Ducati three-way, and not in a sexy way. Alright, maybe it could be a little sexy.

Martín tried to break away after fighting his way past Bagnaia into the lead, but couldn’t quite shake the champ. Meanwhile, Marc Márquez caught them up, and so a manic battle ensued.

By the final lap, Pecco was so fixed on finding a last-minute move to make on Martín, that he neglected to factor in a late Marc divebomb. What a divebomb it was too! 

All-or-nothing, pass magnificently, or crash spectacularly. It turned out to be the former.

Martín claimed the top spot, and was so happy about it he punched a hole in his Ducati’s screen. He also managed to de-visor himself somewhere along the cooldown-celebrations.

Marc, with his insane last-lap overtake, took second very happily.

Less happy was Bagnaia, who had to make do with third. 

The Not Happy showed.

Meanwhile, Binder made a stellar recovery, going from twenty-second (aka Dead Last) to thirteenth in just one lap, ultimately snatching eighth across the finish line. 


Fabio Q. escaped pit lane during the Parc Fermé congregation in order to bombard his fans with gloves and boots; the first boot-toss was a total fail, but he managed to rectify it.

A little while later, Zarco followed suit, adding his knee-sliders to the barrage of projectiles aimed at the devout French fans.

We’re starting to sound like a scratched record but, in our defence, it’s true: If all the upcoming races are as epic as the ones already raced this year, then we’re in for one of the greatest seasons ever.

~ Karr

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