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May 13thSTATISTICS 2009#04 Grand Prix de France Le MansMotoGP facts & figures French riders in MotoGPith Randy de Puniet equalling his best ever dry weather MotoGP result at Jerez just n Valentino Rossi has had six podium Wtwo weeks before the Grand Prix de France, it is timely to look at the 14 French finishes in the premier-class at Le Mans, riders who have tasted podium success in the premier class.including three victories; in 2002 riding a Honda, 2005 and last year on a Yamaha. Pierre Monneret (Gilera) was the first French rider to score points in the 500cc class with a win at the French GP His win in France last year was his 90th in 1954 at the Reims circuit, which was being used for the first time to host a Grand Prix event. Over the three GP victory – the same number of GP vic- year period 1954 to 1956, Monneret finished on the podium a total of five times.tories as Angel Nieto. Rossi’s win at Jerez Jacques Collot’s single podium was 3rd riding a Norton in the 1954 French GP won by Monneret. was the 12th successive race at which he Antoine Paba’s only point scoring finish in Grand Prix racing was 3rd at the French GP at Clermont-Ferrand in has stood on the podium. 1961 riding a Norton and finishing one lap down on winner Gary Hocking and Mike Hailwood both riding MV Agusta factory machines.Christian Ravel scored a number of good results riding a Kawasaki during the 1970 season to finish 7th in the championship, his single podium was 2nd at the ...

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STATISTICS
2009
May 13th
Grand Prix de France
#04
Le Mans
Official statistics compiled by Dr. Martin Raines
MotoGP facts & figures
n
Valentino Rossi
has had six podium
finishes in the premier-class at Le Mans,
including three victories; in 2002 riding a
Honda, 2005 and last year on a Yamaha.
His win in France last year was his 90th
GP victory – the same number of GP vic-
tories as Angel Nieto.
Rossi’s win at Jerez
was the 12th successive race at which he
has stood on the podium.
n
Casey Stoner’s
third place finish in
2007 is his only podium in any class of
racing at the Le Mans circuit.
Last year
Stoner finished 16th at Le Mans, his first
non-scoring ride on Ducati, after his bike
slowed with mechanical problems and
he came in to change to his second bike
(on different tyres) as the race had been
declared “wet”.
n
Jorge Lorenzo’s
single victory at Le
Mans came in 2007 in the 250cc race
after he had qualified on pole.
Last year
at Le Mans he was still suffering with
injuries from his crash during practice in
China but finished second, despite having
completed lap two down in 11th place.
n
Dani Pedrosa
had great success at Le
Mans riding in the smaller classes hav-
ing won the 125cc GP there in 2003 and
the 250cc race in both 2004 and 2005.
He also started from pole and finished on
the podium at Le Mans on his first visit
riding a MotoGP machine in 2006.
He
was 4th and top Michelin rider in the wet
race of 2007 and was 4th again last year
after starting from pole for the first time
in 2008.
French riders in MotoGP
W
ith Randy de Puniet equalling his best ever dry weather MotoGP result at Jerez just
two weeks before the Grand Prix de France, it is timely to look at the 14 French
riders who have tasted podium success in the premier class.
Pierre Monneret (Gilera) was the first French rider to score points in the 500cc class with a win at the French GP
in 1954 at the Reims circuit, which was being used for the first time to host a Grand Prix event.
Over the three
year period 1954 to 1956, Monneret finished on the podium a total of five times.
Jacques Collot’s single podium was 3rd riding a Norton in the 1954 French GP won by Monneret.
Antoine Paba’s only point scoring finish in Grand Prix racing was 3rd at the French GP at Clermont-Ferrand in
1961 riding a Norton and finishing one lap down on winner Gary Hocking and Mike Hailwood both riding MV
Agusta factory machines.
Christian Ravel scored a number of good results riding a Kawasaki during the 1970 season to finish 7th in the
championship, his single podium was 2nd at the Belgium GP at Spa-Francorchamps.
He sadly lost his life at the
Belgium GP one year later at the same track.
Eric Offenstadt was a regular competitor in the 500cc class in the early 70’s riding a Kawasaki. His most suc-
cessful campaign was 1971 when he was 6th in the championship with three podium finishes.
Christian Bourgeois competed in the 250/350/500cc classes from 1970 to 1976 riding Yamaha machinery and
had single podium finishes in the 500cc class in both 1972 and 1973.
Michel Rougerie is one of the most successful French Grand Prix riders with three wins in the 250/350cc
classes.
His single podium in the 500cc class was at the Czech GP in 1977 riding a Suzuki on the old Brno road
circuit.
He lost his life after crashing in the 350cc GP at the Yugoslavian GP in 1981.
Franck Gross’s single podium was at the 1982 French GP at Nogaro which was boycotted by the top riders of
the time.
Raymond Roche had nine 500cc podium finishes, eight of which came in the 1984 season when he finished 3rd
in the world championship riding a Honda.
Christian Sarron is the most successful French rider of all-time in the premier-class with a total of eighteen
podium finishes, all on Yamaha machinery. These include a single victory at the West German Grand Prix in 1985
at Hockenheim when he beat Freddie Spencer into second place.
Sarron made 98 appearances in the 500cc
class – more than any other French rider.
Jean-Philippe Ruggia is better known for his successful career in the 250cc class which included three victories;
however he did compete for two years in the 500cc class on a Yamaha and scored a single podium at the
Belgium GP in 1990 in dreadful wet conditions, finishing second behind Wayne Rainey.
Regis Laconi competed in the premier class for five years and finished on the podium twice in 1999 riding a
Yamaha, including a win at the first ever Valencia GP in 1999.
Olivier Jacque moved up to the elite class riding a Yamaha in 2001 after winning the 250cc title for the Japa-
nese manufacturer in 2000.
His single podium finish came after his full-time GP career was over and he was a
late replacement for Alex Hofmann in the Kawasaki team at the Chinese GP in 2005. Jacque finished second to
Valentino Rossi in extreme wet conditions.
Randy de Puniet moved up to the MotoGP class in 2006 after considerable success in the smaller classes.
His
single podium came whilst riding a Kawasaki at the Japanese GP in 2007 run in mixed weather conditions.
STATISTICS
2009
May 13th
Le Mans
#04
2
Grand Prix de France
n
Andrea Dovizioso
had considerable
success in the smaller classes at the Le
Mans circuit, twice finishing on the po-
dium in the 125cc class including a win
in 2004 and also finishing on the podium
three times in the 250cc class.
Last year
he finished 6th after dropping down to
14th early in the race after a clash with
James
Toseland
.
n
Le Mans is one of
Colin
Edwards
’ more
successful circuits having twice finished
on the podium – in 2005 and 2008; one
of just two podium finishes he achieved
last year.
He also started from pole at
Le Mans in 2007 – his first ever pole in
Grand Prix racing.
n
Randy
de
Puniet
had great success
in the 250cc class at Le Mans with four
successive podium finishes from 2002 to
2005.
His 9th place last year was his first
finish in the MotoGP class at Le Mans; in
2006 he was the innocent victim of a first
corner collision and in 2007 he fell on lap
nine after briefly leading the race.
De Pu-
niet’s 4th place finish at Jerez is his best
result since moving to the LCR Honda
team at the start of last year.
n
Le Mans is one of
Marco
Melandri’s
most successful circuits during his time
in the premier-class, with several good
results; 4th in 2005, a victory in 2006 and
2nd in 2007.
Last year he was 15th after
his bike stalled on the grid.
His 5th place
finish at Jerez equalled his best result
from last year that he achieved in China,
and also equals the best result achieved
last year by a Kawasaki rider.
n
Chris
Vermeulen’s
win in 2007 at Le
Mans is the only victory for Suzuki since
the introduction of the four-stroke Mo-
toGP machines at the start of 2002.
n
Loris
Capirossi’s
only podium finish
from nine premier-class starts at Le Mans
is 2nd in 2006.
He won the 250cc GP at
Le Mans back in 1994 on a Honda.
n
Mika
Kallio
had a couple of podium
finishes on a 125cc machine at Le Mans.
His 5th place last year was his best result
at the circuit in the 250cc class.
n
Toni Elias
had three podium finishes in
the smaller classes at Le Mans, including
victory in the 250cc race in 2003; how-
ever he has never finished higher than
9th in his four starts in the MotoGP class
at Le Mans.
Grand Prix racing at Le Mans
T
he Le Mans circuit has a great history of Grand Prix racing and first hosted a GP event
forty years ago.
Below are some facts and figures from GP racing at Le Mans:
This will be the 22nd occasion that a Grand Prix event has been held at the Le Mans circuit, including ten
successive occasions from 2000.
The first time the Grand Prix was held at Le Mans was on the 18th May 1969, when the main race was won by
Giacomo Agostini, who lapped all the other riders in the race on his MV-Agusta.
The highlight of the event for the
home crowd was the victory in the 125cc race by Jean Aureal (Yamaha), the first ever victory in the class by a
French rider.
In addition to Jean Aureal’s win in 1969 there have been three other wins at Le Mans by the home riders.
In
1979 Guy Bertin (Motobecane) won the 125cc race and Patrick Fernandez (Yamaha) won the 350cc race.
Last
year, Mike di Meglio (Derbi) won the 125cc GP at Le Mans on his way to taking the world title.
Randy de Puniet is the most successful French rider in the 250cc class at Le Mans with four successive podium finis-
hes between 2002 and 2005.
Other French riders who have finished on the podium in the 250cc class at Le Mans are;
Olivier Jacque (2000), Dominique Sarron (1987), Thierry Rapicault (1983) and Patrick Fernandez (1979).
There have only been two French riders finish on the podium in the premier-class at Le Mans; Raymond Roche
was 2nd in 1985 and Christian Sarron finished 3rd in 1987.
The three riders who have had the most victories at the Le Mans circuit are Dani Pedrosa (2 x 250cc, 1 x 125cc),
Freddie Spencer (2 x 500cc, 1 x 250cc) and Valentino Rossi (3 x MotoGP)
Valentino Rossi equals most premier class podiums on
Yamaha
V
alentino Rossi’s victory at Jerez was his 64th MotoGP podium since moving to the
Yamaha factory squad at the start of 2004.
This equals the record number of Yamaha
podiums in the premier-class that was achieved by Wayne Rainey.
The following table
shows the top five most successful Yamaha riders in terms of premier-class podiums:
RiDER
ToTAL PoDiuMS
WinS
SEConD
ThiRD
Valentino Rossi
64
39
19
6
Wayne Rainey
64
24
22
18
Eddie Lawson
62
26
25
11
Kenny Roberts
39
22
12
5
Max Biaggi
28
8
12
8
3
STATISTICS
2009
May 13th
Grand Prix de France
#04
Le Mans
Great day for British riders at Jerez
T
he 125cc race at Jerez was one of the best races for many years as far as British ri-
ders are concerned, with Bradley Smith winning the race, Scott Redding finishing 4th
and Danny Webb 8th.
With this result a number of new milestones were achieved:
It was the first victory for Bradley Smith in his 50th Grand Prix start.
At the age of 18 years and 156 days Smith becomes the second youngest British rider to win a Grand Prix after
Scott Redding who won at Donington last year.
His win is the first ever at Jerez in any of the solo classes by a British rider.
It is also the first win in the 125cc class in Spain by a British rider since Chas Mortimer (Yamaha) won at Jarama
in 1973 which was also the last overseas win in the 125cc class by a British rider.
This was the first time that two British riders have finished in the top four in a Grand Prix in any of the solo
classes since the 500cc race in Donington in 1993 when Niall Mackenzie (ROC Yamaha) was 3rd and Carl
Fogarty (Cagiva) finished 4th.
The last time that two British riders finished in the top four in the 125cc class in
an overseas Grand Prix was at the Spanish GP at Montjuic in 1972 when Chas Mortimer (Yamaha) was 2nd and
Dave Simmonds (Kawasaki) 4th.
The last time that three British riders finished in the top eight in an overseas 125cc Grand Prix was at the
Spanish GP at Jarama in 1971 when Chas Mortimer (Yamaha) was 2nd, Barry Sheene (Suzuki) 3rd and Dave
Simmonds (Kawasaki) 4th.
With Scott Redding winning at Donington last year, it is the first time that Britain have had Grand Prix winners in
successive years since Barry Sheene won in both 1978 and 1979.
n
James Toseland
crashed on lap three
at Le Mans last year after a clash with
Andrea
Dovizioso
.
This was one of only
two races Toseland failed to finish in his
debut season in MotoGP.
n
Sete
Gibernau
won at Le Mans in both
2003 and 2004, making it the only circuit
at which he has scored two Grand Prix
victories.
n
Yuki
Takahashi
took his first Grand Prix
victory at the Le Mans circuit in 2006.
n
Le Mans has been one of
nicky
hay-
den’s
least successful circuits with a best
result of 5th in 2006.
250cc facts & figures
n
Following his victory at Jerez,
hiroshi
Aoyama
leads the world championship
classification for the first time.
This is
also the first time that a Honda rider has
topped the 250cc table since
Andrea
Dovizioso
did so following the British
GP in 2006.
Aoyama’s best results at Le
Mans are 4th in 2004 and 2006.
n
M
arco
Simoncelli
finished 2nd last year
at Le Mans to start a sequence of seven
successive podium finishes that took him
to the top of the championship table.
n
Le Mans is the only circuit on this year’s
schedule, which he has raced at previ-
ously, where
Alvaro
Bautista
has not
had a podium finish in either the 125cc
or 250cc class.
n
Thomas
Luthi
won twice at Le Mans in
the 125cc class, in 2005 and 2006.
His
win in 2006 was the last in the 125cc
class by a Honda.
He has had less suc-
cess at the circuit since moving up to the
250cc class; he retired with mechanical
problems in 2007 and last year finished
in 11th after qualifying on the front row.
n
Jules
Cluzel
has not managed a finish
at his home Grand Prix from three starts.
He crashed out of the 125cc race in 2005
when making his GP debut, he crashed
in the 250cc race in both 2006 and 2007
and last year did not start as he was still
recovering from his crash in China.
STATISTICS
2009
May 13th
Le Mans
#04
4
Grand Prix de France
MotoGP racing numbers
27 –
Hiroshi Aoyama’s victory at Jerez was the first win by Honda in the 250cc class
since Andrea Dovizioso won at Donington in 2007 – a run of 27 races without a win which
is the longest barren sequence for Honda in the 250cc class since they re-entered the
class in 1985.
21 –
Niccolo Canepa celebrates his 21st birthday the day before practice starts for the
French GP.
21 –
Yamaha have had at least one rider finish on the podium at the last twenty-one
MotoGP races starting at the first race of last year in Qatar.
This is the longest sequence
of successive podium finishes for Yamaha since they had at least one rider finish on the
podium at 40 successive races through the 1989/90/91 seasons.
14 –
With his victory at the Spanish GP, Valentino Rossi becomes the first rider of all-
time to achieve at least one GP victory for 14 successive seasons.
14 –
There have been 14 MotoGP races since the last win by a Honda rider –Dani
Pedrosa at the Catalan GP last year.
This is the longest sequence of races in the premier-
class without any Honda wins since they re-entered Grand Prix racing in 1982.
13.524 seconds –
Bradley Smith’s margin of victory in Spain was the largest
winning margin in the 125cc class since the Portuguese GP in 2006 which Alvaro Bautista
won by over 15 seconds.
8 -
There have been a total of eight different circuits used to host the French GP; Albi,
Clermont-Ferrand, Le Mans, Magny-Cours, Nogaro, Paul Ricard, Reims and Rouen.
8 –
There have been eight different winners in the nine Grand Prix races held so far this
year.
Only Andrea Iannone has more than one win to his name in 2009.
4–
Le Mans is one of just four circuits on this year’s calendar where Ducati have not
had a MotoGP win.
The others are Indianapolis, Estoril and Mugello.
n
Mattia Pasini’s
3rd place finish last
year is his best result by far at the Le
Mans circuit having failed to finish in the
previous two years having qualified on
pole on both occasions.
n
At the age of 32,
Alex Debon
took his
first ever GP victory last year at Le Mans
on his 112th Grand Prix appearance.
n
Mike
di Meglio
won the 125cc race at
the French GP last year - the first win for
a French rider at the circuit since 1979.
125cc facts & figures
n
The 125cc race last year at Le Mans
was stopped after 15 laps because of rain
and re-started for a distance of just five
laps.
This resulted in the shortest ever
race in GP history at just 20.925 km.
n
Bradley
Smith
scored his first ever
GP
podium at Le Mans in 2007 finishing in
3rd place and last year he went one bet-
ter to finish 2nd.
Following his maiden GP
victory at Jerez he could become the first
British rider to take back-to-back GP wins
in any solo class since
Barry
Sheene
in
1977.
Barry
Sheene
was also the last
British rider to take back-to-back GP wins
in the 125cc class in 1971.
n
Sergio
Gadea’s
win in the 125cc race
at Le Mans in 2007 was his first ever
Grand Prix win.
Last year he qualified
on pole at the French GP but finished
down in 20th place in the re-started race.
Gadea’s 2nd place finish at Jerez was his
first podium since he won the opening
race of 2008 at Qatar.
n
Marc
Marquez’s
3rd at Jerez was his
first podium since the British GP last year
at Donington Park.
n
Efren
Vazquez’s
5th place finish in
Spain was a considerable improvement
on his previous best GP result of 9th at
the opening race of last year in Qatar.
n
Cameron
Beaubier
picked up his first
ever GP point with 15th place at Jerez to
become the youngest ever rider from the
USA to finish in a point scoring position in
Grand Prix racing at the age of 16 years
148 days.