MotoGP 2024: Marini perseveres for important Sprint data as Martin takes pole for French GP

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MotoGP 2024: Marini perseveres for important Sprint data as Martin takes pole for French GP
 
Le Mans (France): An early fall for Joan Mir left Luca Marini as the lone Honda Team rider for the majority of the Sprint race in the French Grand Prix, the Italian staying focused and continuing to build for Sunday’s race in the MotoGP 2024 championship here on Saturday.

Starting the day with practice and Q1, the Honda Team immediately picked up where it left off and continued hunting improvements. A step forward for Joan Mir saw him earn 18th on the grid, just behind Alex Marquez while Luca Marini earned 21st as he worked on closing the gap to his teammate. The pair had their sights set on forward progress as they lined up on the grid for Saturday afternoon’s Sprint.

A determined Luca Marini took positives from another completed Sprint race, more laps and more data taking him and the Honda Team another step closer to improvements. Finishing in 18th, the Italian quickly overcame his teammate as the race began and diligently went about his race. With the information gained, Marini and his team are planning one final adjustment for Sunday morning Warm Up.

Joan Mir’s race came to an early end as he fell without injury at Turn 8 on Lap 4. He returned to the garage and retired from the race. Confident of pinpointing the issue that caused his fall and also his slow start to the race, Mir is aiming to bounce back on Sunday and is targeting points and top Honda honours.

The Repsol Honda Team now turn their attention to Sunday’s French Grand Prix, 27 laps of the Le Mans circuit scheduled to start at 14:00 Local Time. Forecasts are beginning to darken and the unpredictability of a flag-to-flag could open endless possibilities.

Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) was back on top at the Grand Prix de France, storming to pole position and setting a new lap record. However, it was not smooth sailing for the No. 89 after crashing in the latter part of the session.

Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) will join Martin on the front row of the grid, also suffering a fall moments after Martin in a dramatic end to the session. Aprilia Racing’s Maverick Vinales will return to the front row, continuing an impressive 2024 season.

Meanwhile, some big names were unable to fight in Q2 with work to do in the Sprint.

It was one of the most competitive Q1 sessions ever seen with Enea Bastianini (Ducati Lenovo Team) storming to the top spot to secure a spot in Q2. ‘The Beast’ set a brilliant 1:30.233, ending Q1 ahead of Miguel Oliveira (Trackhouse Racing) who pushed Marc Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP) out of the top two spots. However, all eyes quickly turned to the start of Q2 with Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) putting the hammer down instantly, setting an all-time lap record on the opening flying lap. Martin quickly improved setting the first ever 1:29.919 lap around Le Mans – 0.192s quicker than Bagnaia.

In the closing minutes, Maverick Vinales (Aprilia Racing) improved, and Martin crashed in an attempt to improve on his lap record. Seconds later, Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) crashed while under the lap record, before Aprilia Racing’s Aleix Espargaro and Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) fell in the final minute of qualifying.

 


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