French GP: Spectacular victory for Danilo Petrucci at Le Mans, Andrea Dovizioso closed in fourth position

Date posted on October 16, 2020
Share this
  • The Umbrian rider took his second MotoGP success at Le Mans in a race made difficult by the wet conditions, giving Ducati their first victory on the French race track;
  • Andrea Dovizioso ended fourth after a race spent fighting at the front, as he was held back by the tyre drop in the final stages.

Danilo Petrucci took an extraordinary victory at the MotoGP French Grand Prix, held today at the historic Bugatti Circuit in Le Mans. The Ducati Team rider secured his second success in the premier class, bringing the Ducati Desmosedici GP bike for the first time on the higher step of the podium at the French race track.

It was a very challenging race, that was postponed after that the rain had started to fall only a few minutes before the start. As he got off from the third spot on the grid, from the front row, Danilo was able to take the lead immediately, followed by teammate Andrea Dovizioso and the Pramac Racing Team Ducati bike of Jack Miller.

The Ducati trio occupied the top three position for almost two-thirds of the race, but it was then joined by Alex Rins, who engaged a strong duel with Miller, the latter forced to retire due to a technical problem during lap 19. Rins also crash out of contention in the following lap, while Andrea Dovizioso, who was already suffering from the tyre wear, had Alex Márquez and Pol Espargaro closing in. Both riders managed to overtake him, pushing back Dovizioso into the fourth place where he then finished the race.

Petrucci, who was then alone leading the race, continued to manage his gap on his rivals, crossing the finish line in the first position with a 1.2 second lead over Márquez.

Thanks to today’s success, Danilo climbs to tenth place in the overall standings, while Andrea is now in third position just 18 points behind championship leader Quartararo. Ducati is second in the manufacturers’ championship, while the Ducati Team is third in the teams’ standings.

Danilo Petrucci (#9 Ducati Team) – 1st
“It was an incredible race. As of this morning, I knew I could have done a good performance with the dry conditions, but when I saw the rain on the grid, I knew it was going to be a difficult race. I thought I had nothing to lose and that maybe, I could be equally strong even in the wet. In the past, I had managed to get podiums in those conditions, but never a win. I’ve waited a long time before getting back on the top step of the podium, and it’s nice to do it here at Le Mans, a track where I’ve got some good results in the past. I want to dedicate this win to all the people who have continued to believe in me even in this difficult time.”

Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Ducati Team) – 4th
“I’m a bit disappointed because today I thought I could get a better result. Danilo was very fast, and he was riding really well. I managed to stay with him for most of the race, but at the end maybe, we paid for a wrong tyre choice. I was riding with soft tyre both at the front and the rear, and in the last laps, I couldn’t turn the bike properly. In these conditions, it is always difficult to make the correct choice, because you never know if the track will remain completely wet or if it will start to dry up in the end. Anyway, today we earned valuable points for the championship, and I am happy for Danilo’s victory. Now we’re already focusing on the next race in Aragón.”

Luigi Dall’Igna (General Manager of Ducati Corse)
“It was a tough race in so many ways, and the difficulties increased at the end when the tyres started to have a drop in their performance. Danilo did really well today, and he was able to do better than anyone else, so he fully deserves this victory. Andrea also had a good race and narrowed the gap from the championship leader. Too bad for Jack, because he too was riding really well in these difficult conditions.”

The Ducati Team riders will be back on track already this weekend, from 16th-18th October for the first of two consecutive races scheduled at the MotorLand Aragón (Alcañiz), in Spain.