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Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Set to Come Out Fighting in France

(Wednesday, 17 May 2017)

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales have recharged their batteries after the Spanish GP and the Official MotoGP Jerez Test and are ready to continue challenging during the Grand Prix de France staged at the Le Mans Bugatti Grand Prix race circuit this Sunday.

Rossi is looking to make a strong return at the front of the pack at the upcoming race, following some positive findings in last week‘s Jerez Test. He continues to hold the lead in the championship and aims for a competitive start to the fifth round of the championship, at a track where he has a good record.

The Doctor has already claimed three premier class victories at Le Mans (2002, 2005 and 2008), six second places (2003, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016) and three third places (2000, 2001 and 2011), but there is always room for an extra trophy in his cabinet.

Viñales also stepped onto the Bugatti Grand Prix podium last year, which was his first MotoGP podium, and is eager to revisit the rostrum this year. As he likes the French circuit, he is confident he can add another top score this weekend, to equal his 125cc win in France in 2011 and Moto3 win in 2013.

The Spaniard currently holds second place in the championship, just two points behind his teammate. Having topped the time sheets of the Jerez test a little more than a week ago, he looks forward to being more competitive aboard his YZR-M1 over the upcoming weekend.

The Le Mans Bugatti Grand Prix race circuit was built in 1965 and started hosting Grand Prix from the late sixties until 1996, and from 2000 after a serious accident in 1995 saw the track update its safety. The 4.2km lay-out of five left and nine right corners with a 674m longest straight, places the emphasis on late braking, hard acceleration and rear end traction, which plays into the hand of Yamaha and promises for a great show on Sunday.

MASSIMO MEREGALLI
TEAM DIRECTOR

We‘re back in Le Mans after fifteen days when we came here for a test, organised by Michelin, of the new tarmac. In the meantime we‘ve been able to work on the bikes‘ setting that‘s most likely going to be our base set-up for Friday‘s FP1. Le Mans has been a track that suits our bike well. We are fully committed to confirm this over the upcoming weekend and this will help us come back strong from the Jerez race. It will be important for us to be prepared for both dry and wet conditions, because Le Mans is known to be a place where the weather plays a big role in the race. We are really looking forward to starting the French GP weekend!

VALENTINO ROSSI
MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP RIDER

After the difficulties during the Jerez weekend, the Le Mans GP will be very important. It is true that we are still first in the championship standings, and this is nice for us, but we need to improve the bike to be really competitive. The test in Jerez was important and we understood some positive things. Now we will have to work well from the first session in Le Mans and we have to try to be immediately competitive. We are feeling positive and we want to get back to working on the bike right away. I also hope that the weather conditions will be good, we need to test the bike in dry conditions.

MAVERICK VIÑALES
MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP RIDER

The race in Jerez was very difficult for us. Now we have to understand about what happened and try to improve this weekend at the Le Mans circuit. Luckily during the test on Monday in Jerez we had a totally different result, it was a really good test. For that reason we’re arriving in France with a positive mind. Le Mans is a good track for us, it suits my riding style, and we can do a really good job there.