Taka takes 7th as rain plays havoc at #FrenchGP
LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider Takaaki Nakagami claimed 7th in the French Grand Prix after a chaotic race at Le Mans. While it started in dry conditions, early rain forced the riders to change bikes and, although he was in the podium positions at one stage, the Japanese rider ultimately battled hard to see the chequered flag and secure valuable championship points.
Departing from seventh on the grid, Taka made a brilliant start to move into fourth and held that spot at the end of the first lap after some exciting passing exchanges. Rain then started falling, forcing riders back to the pits to switch machinery and the LCR man went third when race leader Marc Marquez crashed out. He was unable to maintain his position in the drying conditions, but showed consistency and concentration to claim a creditable seventh spot.
It was a very tough race. I’m happy as it was my first experience of a flag-to-flag race, it was quite difficult, but I think we made a good decision to come in on lap two or three. After I changed the bike for full wet conditions with a rain tyre, it was difficult to keep good pace at the beginning of the wet conditions. After that I was P4 and then P3, but I knew in wet conditions we didn’t have a strong pace. At the end I dropped to P7, I’m a little bit disappointed about the result, but happy about our performance in the race. We were very strong in dry conditions at the start of the race, we were able to fight with Marc (Márquez) so there were many positive points. I would like to thanks my team. I’m really looking forward to Mugello for the team’s home GP. It’s one of my favourite tracks and I have great confidence about the race.