05/13/2021 at 7:15 PM CEST
Le Mans is coming. The myth. The movie circuit. The circuit where the atmosphere, not always pleasant, not always desirable, often even too hooligan and rude, makes this grand prize a popular place, sportingly loving and, above all, very competitive. And, let’s not forget, a grand prize that it tends to bring surprises because the weather is too variable as to have everything controlled, tied and well tied.
Never, ever, has a normal, predictable race been experienced at Le Mans and this is how the riders of the Motorcycle World Championship expect it, which this weekend celebrates its fifth round of the seasons after the two races in Qatar, the precious Grand Prix of Portugal and the no less exciting Grand Prix of Spain, in Jerez.
Le Mans had an audience last year in the final stretch of the championship, but this year it will not and all the riders are saddened by it, especially the locals on the MotoGP grid, Fabio Quartararo and Johann Zarco who, above all, are shining in this start of the World Cup. “We all want to run with an audience in the stands because we run for the people & rdquor;points out the ‘Devil’. “There is no doubt that when you are a local, that is, when you run at home, what you want is to make your loved ones enjoy and it is not the same, no, to make yours enjoy live, live, than through the television, which is fine, yes, especially if you get a podium, if you win, but it’s not the same, no & rdquor ;, says Zarco.
The MotoGP championship, you know, comes to Le Mans (and it seems like it will be the whole year) stuck in a fist, because the Italian ‘Pecco’ Bagnaia (Ducati) only leads Quartararo (Yamaha) by two points . Everyone believes, knows, senses, suspects, as has always happened, that the race will be in the rain or, at the very least, it will be a mix of dry and wet, that is to say, that, perhaps, as has happened on more than one occasion, they will start to run with slims (slics) and end up with rain tires, which will mean an exciting and colorful change of motorcycle on the fly, in the garage, in the pit-lane.
“It is not ours, Le Mans, an ideal route for this type of operation, really, because the curve that gives access to the pit lane is closed and narrow and can make the operation very difficult, especially if you rush in the rush & rdquor ;, says Zarco, who like everyone else, Quartararo, Bagnaia, Franco Morbidelli and Jack Miller prefer a race in the wet. Well, Miller, recent winner in the dry in Jerez thanks to the injury to the right arm of the ‘Diablo’, who dominated the test, would prefer, perhaps, that it rained because the Australian is a real shark on wet, in the rain.
“We know, we have demonstrated both Jack (Miller) and Johann (Zarco) and myself that our Ducati is ready and prepared to perform, from day one, on any track, yes, but now we have to check how our Ducati in the wet, if the forecasts are confirmed & rdquor ;, he commented Bagnaia, the leader of the World Cup, who has stated that he does not think about the title, not even in the lead, for two fundamental reasons “one, because this has just begun and, two, because to be a champion you have to win races and I am the leader with three podiums, but without any victory, of course Joan (Mir, Suzuki) was champion, last year, winning only one grand prize & rdquor ;.
Miller insisting that he would not mind if it rained, there are such as Bagnai and his compatriot Franco Morbidelli and even Quartararo, who would prefer it not to rain. “I have to admit it: I have never been fast in water, although it has always been said that there is a day that, suddenly, you are, but I don’t know, I still prefer to run on dry & rdquor ;. “I just, out of curiosity, want to see if this year’s Yamaha is better than last year in the wet, when I didn’t feel at all comfortable with it & rdquor;Quartararo points out.
Miller, the latest grand prize winner (by the way, he hadn’t won a GP for five years, he did it in Holland, in the rain, wow), insists that “rain or not, I have a love-hate relationship with this track because I have lived through precious moments, like the victory in 2014 in Moto3 and hard moments. So, now, coming from a triumph in Jerez where all my emotions have come together and more knowing that in Australia mine and all the fans have enjoyed it very much, I hope that I have a great race & rdquor ;.
Quartararo hopes to slow down the momentum of the three Ducati at Le Mans, despite the recent double operation on his right arm, which seized him, preventing him, in Jerez, from achieving his third consecutive win this year. “Jerez was frustrating for me, but I’m ready to fight, again, for the win & rdquor ;, points out the ‘Diablo’.
Marc Márquez does not stop in his rehabilitation
Marc Márquez continues fighting, working, hardening himself for the battle, which he suspects will be long. “The arm? Well, there it is. I have discomfort in the shoulder part, because the humerus is also part of the shoulder. He is improving, but there is not much difference compared to Jerez. I’m impatient and I ask the doctor that I want to improve more and he says: ‘Look, boy, if you want to improve, stop for a month, you train only the arm and you will come back better.’ But it’s not that either, so it takes patience and doing our thing.
«From Jerez to Le Mans, it was quite difficult for me to recover, especially from the cervical contusion and also from the strain on my right arm. It is something that we knew and we have to accept it, it takes time to return to 100%. We don’t have time, so there is no choice but to respect the days and breaks. I visited my doctors and we saw that everything was fine, everything was correct and we have increased our physical preparation a bit in the gym. We will also try after Le Mans to increase physical preparation with the bike, introduce a motorcycle day between races to see how it affects the body. Little by little, even if it rains it helps us, because the stress of a whole weekend in the dry is unbearable & rdquor ;.