Paddock Pass Podcast Episode 168: How A Bizarre And Thrilling Le Mans Made Next To No Difference In The Championship

The French Grand Prix at Le Mans was as weird and wonderful as you might expect, the first wet race in a long time, with a popular winner and a surprise podium. In the latest episode of the Paddock Pass Podcast, Neil Morrison and David Emmett try to make sense of it all, and what it means for the championship.

We kick off with a discussion of how the weather affected the race, and especially how it turned tire choice into a gamble, but one which produced a popular winner. We talk about Danilo Petrucci's victory, and Alex Marquez getting on the podium. We talk about how the rain doomed Jack Miller's race, forcing him to use an engine which had already developed a problem.

Then we take a look at the race for the championship, and how in the end, the result of Le Mans had remarkably little effect in the standings. We discuss how Andrea Dovizioso was the only rider to make gains, and how Fabio Quartararo, Joan Mir, and Maverick Viñales all ended up battling for ninth position. We also explain Maverick Viñales' decision not to run launch control, but try to get off the starting line manually.

We then get into some news on the VR46 team, and Luca Marini stepping up to MotoGP in 2021, and Neil explains what happened at the start of that bizarre Moto2 race. And then as usual, we finish up with our winners and losers.

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Rossi positive for Covid-19, out.

Oh boy. A serious moment, wishing him a speedy full recovery. The Yamaha squad had an outbreak. Please take utmost care with precautions everyone, mouth and nose covered at all times when inside or in closer than two arms lengths outside. Mind who you are cavorting low precaution with and their precaution/exposure habits. Hope we are hearing the last of cases, fear and math says we aren't.

Listening now, thanks MM folks! I see the title chase between Dovi and Mir at Aragon, advantage Duc and very interested in our confounding conditions (does it pain you too that the tires are getting out of operating temps?). Then Quartararo can have a go at them at Valencia. It could go several ways, couldn't it?

There is good in all the possible outcomes. AD04 gets a respectful and ironic mark on his way out. For the future and as an indicator of the health of the grid challenging MM93 a rising youngster brings excitement. Either FQ20 OR JM36 works just fine thanks.

With Yamaha's fortunes, motors on tap, and even Covid outbreak? Plus the rising momentum of our rather surprising 2020 Joan Mir? I want it to go to wee Suzuki. Davide and Goliath. Lots of heart. 

Get well quickly and fully Vale! And please do go ahead and get Luca a seat by VR46ing the 3rd Ducati Team. Before you rode Yamaha or Honda you were Italian. And the bike has come into its own. Why not?

This next race is pivotal. Go Mir!

As Mir said in the Catalunya post race press conference, "The motorbike doesn't like the cold so much." Cooler temps could play a significant role in his performance this weekend. Fortunately for him, race day forecast is predicting 21 degrees. Miller may be absolutely on fire after his second mechnical DNF. He finished third last year and has adapted well to the new Michelin rear. Binder has won at Aragón the last two years in a row and proclaims to love the track. Will be interesting to see how quickly he adapts to the motogp bike at this track. The stage is set for Dovi to rule...but this year is not last year. Will his struggles continue?

You guys are having way too much fun at the end of these podcasts, and sadly, you've got me listening to the very end, just to catch the shenanigans. :D