Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Fabio Quartararo had his home crowd on the edge of their seats as he chased a podium finish in the French Grand Prix at the Le Mans Bugatti circuit. The home hero narrowly missed out on the rostrum by 0.106 seconds but secured a further 13 points and maintained his championship lead. Team-mate Franco Morbidelli finished in 15th place, while the WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team pair came home in 16th and 17th places with Andrea Dovizioso leading home Darryn Binder.
Fabio Quartararo recorded a fourth-place finish at this weekend’s Grand Prix De France, narrowly missing out on a podium finish despite a strong ride.
In a weekend headlined by glorious sunshine, Le Mans was greeted with ominous clouds hanging over the 2.6-mile venue for Sunday morning’s warm-up, but conditions continuously improved as race day unfolded, leaving stunning blue skies to set the scene for a classic 27-lap French showdown.
Starting from fourth on the grid, Quartararo fell victim to a poor start and found himself beaten up further at the Dunlop Chicane, dropping to eighth at the end of lap one. Unfazed, the Yamaha man pushed on and worked his way back into the top six on the third lap and began to bridge the gap to the leading quintet.
Chasing Aleix Espargarò, the battle for fifth would soon become a fight for the final rostrum position as two rivals ahead slipped out of the race. Determined to give the French crowd something to cheer about, he pushed on, but narrowly missed out on a place on the podium, securing 13 crucial World Championship points.
Franco Morbidelli endured a tough French Grand Prix. The Italian started the race in 19th position and struggled to make the progress he hoped for in the opening laps. Running 18th at the mid-way point, Morbidelli battled on in what was a race of attrition, coming home in 15th, securing a point for his 2022 quest.
WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Darryn Binder had another weekend of learning aboard their M1 Yamahas. The Italian led rookie team-mate, Binder, home for 16th and 17th places, respectively.
Fabio Quartararo currently leads the championship with 102 points, six points clear of his nearest rival. Franco Morbidelli lies 17th with Andrea Dovizioso and Darryn Binder sitting in 20th and 21st respectively.
The MotoGP paddock will enjoy a short break before travelling to the beautiful hills of Tuscany for round eight of the championship with the Gran Premio d’Italia at the stunning Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello.
Fabio Quartararo – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, 4th
“I expected much better from this race. My start was not good. I had the pace of the top guys, but this was the best I could do. It was difficult to overtake, so we need to improve this. But I didn’t give up. I nearly had a few crashes during the race, but I always give my 100%, in this case to fight for the podium today. We need to take more risks so I can defend my lead in the championship.”
Franco Morbidelli, Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, 15th
“It was a difficult race because I got stuck in the pack. It was tricky to fight with the guys, and I didn’t have the perfect front feeling. I couldn’t make a lot of speed in the middle of the corner. In the end, we got one point, which is a trust injection. We saw some good things and good speed this morning on used tyres, so things are there. We just need to understand how to put them together. The task is difficult, but we can do it!”
Andrea Dovizioso – WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team, 16th
“I expected much more from this weekend. I’m very disappointed but it just confirms that the way to ride this bike does not match the way I ride it. At this moment I’m not able to change all that, I’m very sorry and disappointed. We move on to Mugello and see what can be done”
Darryn Binder – WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team, 17th
“Today was a difficult race for me. I’m a little bit disappointed with my performance. I really expected myself to do a bit better. I had a very good start, passed a lot of guys in the first corner but unfortunately, I made a mistake and ran wide in turn three on my second or third lap. After that, I really struggled throughout the race to be consistent and have a good pace. I have some things to work on and we’ll see in Mugello.”
Massimo Meregalli – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, Team Director
“In order to fight for the win, we have to prepare for the race in a perfect way: do a perfect qualifying and also have a perfect start. When you can‘t get a perfect start, like Fabio today, it gets difficult, even while Fabio‘s speed would have allowed him to achieve a different ending position. To overtake on tracks like this, with this circuit lay-out, is very complicated for us. We have to manage this situation race by race. It was a difficult weekend for Franky. Even though his feeling with the bike is improving slightly, to start from the 7th row is too far back on the grid for us to be able to come back from. We leave Le Mans behind us now and look forward to the next race in Mugello, which is our team‘s home race.”
Razlan Razali – WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team, Founder & Team Principal
“I think this is one of the most disappointing, difficult and frustrating race for the team and for Yamaha, except for Fabio (Quartararo), who seems to be the only one that can ride this bike and finished fourth, while the other three Yamaha riders are in the last three positions. It was a hard and difficult race and we need to definitely change something for the next race in Mugello. What we can do is continue and work hard to find the best solution to improve and be better than this, not to give up and try to turn our season around as soon as we can.”
2022 Shark Grand Prix De France Results
- Enea Bastianini – Gresini Racing MotoGP
- Jack Miller – Ducati Lenovo Team +2.718
- Aleix Espargarò – Aprilia Racing +4.182
- Fabio Quartararo – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP +4.288
- Johann Zarco – Pramac Racing +11.139
- Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team +15.155
- Takaaki Nakagami – LCR Honda IDEMITSU +16.680
- Brad Binder – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +18.459
- Luca Marini – Mooney VR46 Racing Team +20.541
- Maverick Viñales – Aprilia Racing +21.486
- Pol Espargarò – Repsol Honda Team +22.707
- Marco Bezzecchi – Mooney VR46 Racing Team +23.408
- Fabio Di Giannantonio – Gresini Racing MotoGP +23.408
- Alex Marquez – LCR Honda CASTROL +28.710
- Franco Morbidelli – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP +29.433
- Andrea Dovizioso – WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team +38.149
- Darryn Binder – WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team +59.748
- Miguel Oliveira – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +3 laps
- Francesco Bagnaia – Ducati Lenovo Team +7 laps
- Jorge Martin – Pramac Racing +11 laps
- Joan Mir – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +14 laps
- Raul Fernandez – Tech3 KTM Factory Racing +21 laps
- Alex Rins – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +22 laps
- Remy Gardner – Tech3 KTM Factory Racing +24 laps
2022 MotoGP World Championship Standings
- Fabio Quartararo – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 102 points
- Aleix Espargarò – Aprilia Racing 98 points
- Enea Bastianini – Gresini Racing MotoGP 94 points
- Alex Rins – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 69 points
- Jack Miller – Ducati Lenovo Team 62 points
- Johann Zarco – Pramac Racing 62 points
- Francesco Bagnaia – Ducati Lenovo Team 56 points
- Brad Binder – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 56 points
- Joan Mir – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 56 points
- Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team 54 points
- Miguel Oliveira – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 43 points
- Pol Espargarò – Repsol Honda Team 40 points
- Maverick Viñales – Aprilia Racing 33 points
- Takaaki Nakagami – LCR Honda IDEMITSU 30 points
- Jorge Martin – Pramac Racing 28 points
- Luca Marini – Mooney VR46 Racing Team 21 points
- Franco Morbidelli – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 19 points
- Marco Bezzecchi – Mooney VR46 Racing Team 19 points
- Alex Marquez – LCR Honda CASTROL 18 points
- Andrea Dovizioso – WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team 8 points
- Darryn Binder – WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team 6 points
- Fabio Di Giannantonio – Gresini Racing MotoGP 3 points
- Remy Gardner – Tech3 KTM Factory Racing 3 points
24. Raul Fernandez – Tech3 KTM Factory Racing 0 points