The ninth round of the 2020 MotoGP season will be held this weekend on the historic Bugatti Circuit in Le Mans, which, unlike in recent years, will host the French GP in October.
The French track, which is present on the calendar continuously since 2000, is known thanks to the famous car race of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, that it uses only a small part of the track on which MotoGP competes. After Sachsenring (Germany) and Valencia (Spain) Le Mans is the shortest circuit in the calendar and even its straight, of only 450 meters, is one of the shortest in the championship.
Following a challenging weekend at Montmeló, where an accident in the race forced him to retire after only two corners, Andrea Dovizioso is determined to redeem himself in France. On the Trans-Alpine track, the rider from Forlì has always finished in the top five with Ducati, achieving his best result last year, with a second-place on the podium.
Danilo Petrucci also has excellent memories of the French track, where he finished on the podium in the last two editions of the Grand Prix. In 2018 he took the second place with the Desmosedici GP bike of the Pramac Racing Team, while last year he finished third behind Dovizioso, taking his first podium of the season.
After the first eight events of the 2020 season, Dovizioso is fourth in the overall standings, while Petrucci occupies the fourteenth position. Ducati is second in the manufacturers’ standings with 126 points, while the Ducati Team occupies fourth place in the teams’ classification.
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Ducati Team) – 4th (84 points)
“After the frustrating race at Montmeló, it was definitely good to have a week to recover not only physically, but also mentally. I am eager to get back on track at Le Mans, for two main reasons: first of all, I hope to finally redeem myself after the disappointment of the last race. Moreover, we will race on a track of which I have good memories from last year. I try to see every GP as a new opportunity, confident that I can be competitive again. At Le Mans, we will have to deal with the uncertain weather, a factor that will certainly affect the weekend a lot. In any case, we are ready to fight to the end.”
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Ducati Team) – 14th (39 points)
“In the last two races we have managed to improve our performance, but I think there is still room for improvement. Every Grand Prix is different, and Le Mans is a unique track, where last year we managed to get a double podium with Andrea. The low temperatures and the rain, which will probably disturb us over the weekend, are two factors that will affect the Grand Prix and besides, it will be the first time that we race on this track in October. Once again, it will be crucial to be able to qualify well to fight for a satisfactory result in the race.”
Before taking to the track on Friday, 9th October, starting from 9:55 local time (GMT +2.00) for the first free practices of Le Mans, on Wednesday 7th October Dovizioso and Petrucci will be at the Autodromo do Algarve in Portimao aboard two Ducati Superleggera V4 bikes, to familiarise themselves with the Portuguese track that will host the last race of the season on 29th November.
Name: Bugatti Circuit
Best lap: Viñales (Yamaha), 1:32.309 (163,2 km/h) – 2017
Circuit record: Zarco (KTM), 1:31.185 (165,2 km/h) – 2018
Top speed: Iannone (Ducati), 316,6 km/h – 2015
Track length: 4,185 km
Race distance: 27 laps (112,995 km)
Corners: 14 (5 left, 9 right)
Podium: 1° Márquez (Honda), 2° Dovizioso (Ducati), 3° Petrucci (Ducati)
Pole Position: Márquez (Honda), 1:40.952 (149,2 km/h)
Fastest lap: Quartararo (Yamaha), 1:32.355 (163,1 km/h)
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Age: 34 (born on 23rd March 1986 in Forlimpopoli, Italy)
Residence: Forlì (Italy)
Races: 321 (223 x MotoGP, 49 x 250cc, 49 x 125cc)
First GP: Qatar 2008 (MotoGP), Spain 2005 (250cc), Italy 2001 (125cc)
Wins: 24 (15 MotoGP + 4 250cc + 5 125cc)
First Win: Britain 2009 (MotoGP), Catalunya 2006 (250cc), South Africa 2004 (125cc)
Pole Positions: 20 (7 MotoGP + 4 250cc + 9 125cc)
First Pole: Japan 2010 (MotoGP), France 2006 (250cc), France 2003 (125cc)
World Titles: 1 (125cc, 2004)
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Age: 29 (born on 24th October 1990 in Terni, Italy)
Residence: Terni (Italy)
Races: 145 (MotoGP)
First GP: 2012 Qatar (MotoGP
Wins: 1 (MotoGP)
First Win: Italy 2019 (MotoGP)
Pole Position: –
First Pole: –
World Titles: –
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Ducati Team) – 4º (84 points)
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Ducati Team) – 14º (39 points)
Ducati – 2º (126 points)
Ducati Team – 4º (123 points)