2016 Le Mans Saturday Round Up: Pedrosa Again, Tires, & Qualifying Strategies

The report last night that Dani Pedrosa will replace Jorge Lorenzo in the Movistar Yamaha garage had a devastating effect on the paddock on Saturday. It provoked an almost universal panic among everyone peripheral to the decision. Maverick Viñales' manager Paco Sanchez – strictly speaking, the lawyer who is helping Viñales with his contract negotiations, as Viñales is managing himself – was interviewed by every television broadcaster in the MotoGP paddock, along with nearly every radio station and most journalists. Repsol Honda team principal Livio Suppo and Movistar Yamaha team director Maio Meregalli did pretty much the same, answering the same questions over and over. It was Silly Season at its most frenetic.

As an example, the Spanish sports daily – Spanish journalists are chasing this story hardest, as they have the most at stake – AS featured the following vignette on its website. Reporter Mela Chercoles walked past Albert Valera, manager of Jorge Lorenzo, Aleix Espargaro and others, and heard him berating Alex Salas, assistant to Maverick Viñales. "Tell me that Maverick won't let the Yamaha train get away from him," Chercoles reports Valera as saying. The sense of disbelief in the paddock is huge.

2016 Le Mans MotoGP Post-Qualifying Press Releases

Press releases from the MotoGP teams after qualifying at Le Mans:


Today Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi were back in action at a dry and slightly overcast Le Mans Bugatti Grand Prix race circuit to determine their place on tomorrow’s starting grid. They pushed their YZR-M1s to the limit during an intense 15-minute qualifying session and took first and seventh place respectively ahead of tomorrow's Monster Energy Grand Prix de France.


2016 Le Mans Moto2 & Moto3 Post-Qualifying Press Releases

Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualifying at Le Mans:

Brad Binder takes spot on front row for French GP

World Championship leader sets second fastest time in very close qualifying session, in which Bo Bendsneyder goes less than one second off pole in 21st.

05/07/2016 - Le Mans Circuit, France

2016 Le Mans MotoGP FP4 Result: Lorenzo Dominates, Marquez & Rossi Follow

Jorge Lorenzo has stamped his authority on the field at Le Mans, dominating the last session of free practice for the MotoGP field before qualifying starts. Lorenzo and Marc Marquez swapped top spot in the first half of FP4, before Lorenzo opened a gap in the second half, his advantage ending up at over half a second. 

2016 Le Mans Moto2 FP3 Result: Luthi Edges Zarco

Tom Luthi has topped the final session of free practice for the Moto2 class. The Swiss rider took over at the top early, then held on to his advantage all the way to the end of the session. Johann Zarco got close to Luthi, but the Frenchman could never quite find the final three hundredths of a second to beat the Interwetten man, having to settle for second spot.

2016 Le Mans MotoGP FP3 Result: Iannone Pips Lorenzo in Electrifying Session

Andrea Iannone has ended free practice on top of the pile, the factory Ducati rider just squeaking past Jorge Lorenzo to end the day as the fastest man in FP3. Iannone had a little help from Lorenzo, though, much to the Spaniard's chagrin. The Italian followed the Yamaha M1 of Lorenzo through a blistering final lap, using the tow to propel him to the top of the timesheets.

2016 Le Mans Moto3 FP3 Result: Kornfeil Heads Up Antonelli & Canet

Jakub Kornfeil set the pace in the final session of free practice for the Moto3 class at Le Mans. The Czech rider took his Honda into the 1'42s, beating Brad Binder's best time from Friday. Niccolo Antonelli ended the session in second, but was nearly a quarter of a second down on Kornfeil. In third was Aron Canet, an impressive showing by the Estrella Galicia rookie at a track he has raced at before in the FIM CEV championship.