|Dovizioso lead the race comfortably early on…
The Ducati factory squad had their best result in a grand prix at Le Mans, since the Sepang GP of last season. Andrea Dovizioso had a very decent qualifying session on the Saturday, which saw him plant his Desmosedici GP13 on the front row of the grid. This was the first Ducati front row appearance since Hector Barbera on the Pramac bike at Mugello last year. This grid position set Dovizioso up nicely for Sunday’s rather wet and slippery French Grand Prix.
Dovizioso lept to the front of the field for the first quarter of the race but was closely followed by Pedrosa, Crutchlow, his team mate Hayden and Rossi. Before long, Pedrosa made his way through speeding off into the distance, leaving Dovizioso in the clutches of Crutchlow. Due to losing grip in the ever drying conditions toward the end of the race, the Ducati rider conceded to Crutchlow and then Marquez, relegating him to fourth for the remainder of the race.
For the third season in a row, the Ducati has performed well under the wet conditions at the Bugatti circuit, which left Dovizioso decidedly pleased: “It’s always nice to be at the front of the pack! I’m really happy with my feeling with the bike, and as long as the tyres were decent, I was able to manage the situation well. Dani had more than I did, but I was still able to keep a good pace. We had good grip, which helped us to have a nice race, but as the track dried, the tyres began wearing a lot. I couldn’t keep the pace in the last six or seven laps, and unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make the podium. I’m sorry for the team about that, but we had a positive weekend in all aspects, even in the dry.”