Podium for Pol Espargaro and twelfth for Brad Binder in #FrenchGP
The French Grand Prix pushed the 2020 MotoGP calendar up to nine rounds for the season (10 for the Moto2 and Moto3 classes) and took place at the historic Le Mans circuit for the 33rd FIM World Championship race at the venue. After a weekend of changeable and cool weather conditions, race day dawned cloudy and wet with heavy showers falling as the riders lined-up on the grid.
Pol Espargaro got away strongly on his KTM RC16 and slotted into the top five of the running. As position swaps, crashed and technical problems occurred through the 26 laps Espargaro maintained his pace and closed up the fight for the rostrum. Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Miguel Oliveira also pulled along behind his brandmate as both riders sensed a strong chance of silverware.
At the checkered flag Espargaro had overtaken Andrea Dovizioso for 3rd and was just 1.7 seconds from winner Danilo Petrucci. Oliveira was demoted to 6th through the last tight corner section at Le Mans.
Brad Binder took the first half of the race to gain optimum feeling with the wet surface but then set impressive lap-times to move up from the depths of the top twenty and take 12th. Fellow rookie Iker Lecuona secured the last point for the Red Bull KTM Tech3 squad with 15th place.
“I enjoyed that so much. It was a very tough race. When I saw the rain coming I said to myself ‘I’ve got nothing to lose, so let’s send-it and try it’. On the last laps I was spinning and sliding a lot but I was super-pumped to see the podium was in reach, so I pushed. It was a great ending.”
“Mixed emotions today because at the beginning of the race I was incredibly slow for the first ten-fifteen laps. Then, all of a sudden, I found two seconds on one lap and started to understand a lot more about how much grip there was available. It was disappointing that I wasted so much time in the beginning and I learnt today how incredible the tires are; I’ve never been able to do things like that in the wet and it’s quite amazing to see what you can do with the bike in those conditions. So today was a learning day because I was much, much better at the end than the beginning. The next time it’s wet we will be better-off.”