Le Mans MotoGP Post-Race Part 2: Why Le Mans Was A Crashfest, Bagnaia's Mistake, And Martin's Revival
Yesterday, I wrote about the stupendous crowds at Le Mans for the 1000th motorcycle grand prix. The circuit and event were the right place to celebrate such a memorable occasion. But the fans who packed the circuit at Le Mans got their money's worth in terms of racing too. The MotoGP race was spectacular and tense in equal measure.
It was also a very messy affair. Of the 21 riders who lined up at 2pm on Sunday – Raul Fernandez had tried to ride after arm pump surgery, but that had proved impossible – only 13 made it to the checkered flag. It was a war of attrition.
Why all the crashes? A lot of reasons. There's a lot of hard braking at Le Mans, and more right than left corners. Temperatures can be relatively cool, and tires can cool off quickly. And riders found themselves caught between choosing a softer front tire and suffering in braking, and going for the medium or hard front and nursing the left side of the tire through Musée and Chemin aux Boeufs.