This weekend, it’s time for the French Moto3 Grand Prix at the Le Mans Bugatti Circuit. With a poor weather forecast for the weekend, it’s sure to be an unpredictable but enthralling weekend in the Pays de la Loire region of France.
The track is full of over-taking hotspots, including a flat-out first corner and a tricky chicane at the start of the lap, which has claimed many victims over the last few years, including last year’s MotoGP Champion Joan Mir. In 2017, the downhill La Chapelle corner saw the biggest mass pile-up in years, with more than half the Moto3 field skittling down the road on some fluid dropped by one of the riders. The final sector of the lap is a good finish to the lap, with another couple of over-taking hotspots. The slow final corner saw Czech rider Jakub Kornfeil go airbourne over Enea Bastianini’s bike in 2018, so the circuit is accustomed to a bit of drama.
Last year saw Celestino Vietti win by less than 0.2 seconds from Tony Arbolino and soon-to-be World Champion Albert Arenas. But, with all the aforementioned riders taking the step into Moto2, the rider still in the field with the highest placed finish last year is Jaume Masia, who finished in 4th. He’s had a mixed start to the season, but is looking strong going into this weekend’s race on-board his Red Bull KTM Ajo machine.
Petronas Sprinta Racing rider, and 2019 winner, John McPhee goes well here, so he will be trying to get up to the sharp end this week. You have to believe he is fighting for a ride next year, with a dismal start to the season, and so will need to come out swinging from the off in tomorrow’s practice. His teammate, Darryn Binder, will be doing just that after fighting up at the front for the majority of the season so far, and he won’t be afraid to get his elbows out into the first chicane on Sunday.
Rookie Pedro Acosta will also be looking to carry on his form this week after the incredible Marc Marquez tipped him to be in MotoGP “soon” last week. He’s won the last three races and will want to make that a fourth this time out.
Deniz Oncu looked strong throughout the last race, fighting at the front before having a spill in the final corner at Jerez, wiping out Jaume Masia and Darryn Binder. He suffered a nasty-looking cut to his neck in his final-corner incident and stated he was “lucky to be alive”, but he will be looking to carry his form through this weekend – albeit with a quite sore neck. His Red Bull KTM Tech 3 teammate, Ayumu Sasaki has shown glimmers of brilliance this year, so the French-ran squad will be hopeful for a good result at their home race.
Romano Fenati and Jeremy Alcoba had good results in Jerez, and were 2nd and 3rd respectively, but their form has been a little bit up and down this year, so it’s quite hard to tell if they will be up at the front in Le Mans.
Rivacold Snipers Team rider Andrea Migno is on a wave of form at the moment, and finished 5th here last year in a very on-and-off season for the Italian. He looked strong at the last meeting, claiming a front row start and a 4th place in Jerez.
It’s set to be a tricky weekend for all riders in all classes on an already technical track, but with the dodgy conditions looming, we’re almost guaranteed drama in Moto3 from the get-go. Yet again, it is so difficult to predict the top 3 come Sunday, but without doubt, it will be gripping to watch them sort it out.
Free Practice 1 will start at 09:00 tomorrow morning, Local Time (GMT +2).
Feature Image: MotoGP.com