Ducati Team riders in French GP at Le Mans – Double DNF
The French Grand Prix failed to produce much satisfaction for the Ducati Team riders, who were both forced to retire from the race following two crashes.
The day had started off well for the Italian squad, and in the morning warm-up Andrea Iannone set the quickest time overall, demonstrating an excellent competitive level, just like his team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, in fifth.
Dovizioso powered away well at the start and crossed the line on the opening lap in second place, behind the race leader Jorge Lorenzo. The Italian kept this position until lap 6, when he was passed by Iannone, who then crashed on the next lap. On lap 13, Dovizioso was overtaken by Rossi and he stayed in third place ahead of Marquez for the next two laps, before going down at Turn 7 in a crash that brought an end to his race.
Iannone, who started from the front row after setting third-quickest time yesterday in qualifying, concluded the opening lap in third place and then passed his team-mate on lap 6. Unfortunately on the following lap, the Italian, who was making up the gap on Lorenzo, lost the front at Turn 8 and had to retire.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team # 04) – DNF
“It’s a real pity because we had guessed the right strategy and managed to start the race well. I was in the group following Lorenzo and trying to understand where it was possible to try and attack Rossi, but at the entry to Turn 7 the front tyre lost grip and I found myself on the ground. After analyzing the telemetry, we saw that I had a lean angle that was only two degrees higher than the previous laps, but, even without taking this into account, the tyres were working quite well this weekend. Unfortunately it is a characteristic of theirs to not give any warning when they lose grip, and I crashed. Today’s performance gave us some important feedback for the future, because it proved that we can be quick, but not for the entire duration of the race. Now we have to work to be more consistent, and then go on to find pure performance.”
Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – DNF
“I am very disappointed because crashing in the race, especially after a weekend in which we were always competitive and performing well, really hurts. What happened is very strange, because I pushed harder in the early laps to overtake Dovi under braking than when I was behind Lorenzo and trying to reduce the gap. But the behavior of the front tyre is always difficult to predict and you never know how much confidence you have. Despite the crash we proved that we were quick, even though we were unable to bring home any points: now we really have to improve some aspects that are not allowing us to be constant throughout the whole race.”
Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)
“A double retirement is always tough to accept, especially on a weekend in which the Desmosedici GP and both our riders demonstrated an excellent competitive level. If we want to find something positive however, we can say that after a very difficult Spanish GP at Jerez, here at Le Mans we finally got back to fighting for the top positions both in practice and the race. Now we have to quickly put behind us today’s disappointment and focus on our home race, the Italian GP at Mugello, where we will do our best to give some satisfaction to all our fans and enthusiasts.”