100s of titles, one news app for just $10 a month.
Dive Deeper:
Suzuki MotoGP exit bombshell didn’t weigh on riders in Le Mans practice
Suzuki’s decision to quit MotoGP at the end of 2022 did not weigh on Joan Mir or Alex Rins during…
MotoGP French GP: Under pressure Espargaro tops crash-strewn FP1
An under pressure Pol Espargaro on the Honda topped a crash-strewn opening practice for the MotoGP French Grand Prix ahead…
2022 MotoGP French Grand Prix: Full Friday practice results
Gresini Ducati rider Enea Bastianini headed practice times on Friday at MotoGP's French Grand Prix, setting a new lap record…
MotoGP French GP: Bastianini tops FP2 with new lap record despite crash
Gresini Ducati’s Enea Bastianini topped FP2 for the MotoGP French Grand Prix with a new lap record despite a late…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
MotoGP French GP: Zarco sets new lap record, Mir misses Q2 cut
Pramac Ducati’s Johann Zarco smashed the Le Mans lap record to top FP3 at the MotoGP French Grand Prix as…
MotoGP French GP: Bagnaia leads Ducati 1-2 to claim second pole
Francesco Bagnaia led a Ducati 1-2 to snatch pole for the MotoGP French Grand Prix as home hero Fabio Quartararo…
Get all your news in one place
Latest Sport news:
Southampton vs Liverpool live stream: How can I watch Premier League game live on TV in UK today?
Southampton stand between Liverpool and a shot at final-day Premier League title glory.
Read news from The Economist, FT, Bloomberg and more, with one subscription
Learn More
Newcastle Blow up Arsenal's Champions League Dream
Mikel Arteta castigated his Arsenal side for throwing away a season's work in a limp 2-0 defeat at Newcastle that…
Chiellini Says Goodbye to Juve Fans as Last-gasp Lazio Make Europa League
Giorgio Chiellini bid farewell to Juventus fans on Monday in his last home match for the Turin giants, a disappointing…
Wayne Rooney had ‘awkward’ chat with Jamie Vardy about wife’s column, court told
Roy Hodgson was concerned Rebekah Vardy’s career was distracting Euro 2016 squad, ‘Wagatha Christie’ trial hears
Liverpool XI vs Southampton: Confirmed team news, predicted lineup and injury latest for Premier League game
Liverpool will be without both Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk for tonight’s key Premier League trip to Southampton.
From analysis to good news, read the world’s best news in one place
Southampton vs Liverpool: Prediction, kick off time, TV, live stream, team news and h2h results today
Liverpool face Southampton in the Premier League tonight needing to win to keep their title hopes alive.
Chelsea: Todd Boehly’s takeover set to be approved by Premier League this week
The sale of Chelsea is set to be approved by the Premier League this week.

MotoGP riders baffled by “strange” Le Mans grip during practice

By Lewis Duncan

Friday’s running at Le Mans was held in bright and warm conditions across both sessions, with Gresini’s Enea Bastianini beating the outright lap record in FP2 to end the day fastest. But across both sessions there were 14 crashes at various points of the track.

Le Mans is known for being the circuit with the highest crash rate in years gone by, with an infamous dry Friday in 2018 featuring 109 tumbles across all three classes. But conditions at Le Mans are typically cold, which made Friday’s spills seem unusual from the outside.

KTM’s Miguel Oliveira, who fell twice in FP1, says he had no answer for why there were so many crashes and felt like the track was “sensitive” in how it offered grip.

“I cannot really say for sure, but it feels like you have good grip, good temperature,” Oliveira said when asked by Autosport for an explanation of Friday’s crashes.

“But all of a sudden you either lose the front or lose the rear. So, somehow the track is sensitive.

“For example, most of them [a few years ago] were Turn 2 because of the left cold side. But today we’ve seen a lot of crashes in a lot of places, I don’t know.”

Ducati’s Jack Miller offered a similar comment, after the 2021 French GP winner had a “strange” crash at Turn 11 this afternoon.

“Real strange one to be honest,” Miller said of the fall.

KTM rider Oliveira fell twice on Friday, and cited that the track was "sensitive" (Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images)

“Just started forcing the tyre in the middle of the corner and both sort of let go on me. The grip didn’t feel all that bad but when it let go, it let go really quickly like we saw with a lot of guys - no explanation.

“Like I said, the grip feels good till it doesn’t. It feels not bad and then all of a sudden she’s gone, it’s a strange situation.

“I don’t know because the medium tyre felt pretty good, and the rear’s lasting well and the front is not locking or anything like that.

“But then you try to force it a little bit more on the edge and it seems to give out. I didn’t really [get] any warning of crashing.

“Of course, I knew I was pushing in there a few times on the lead up to it. But if you’re talking about a corner where you should be able to push the bike and have a bit of margin it’s there, because you’ve got a lot of banking, you’re pretty central on the bike.

“It should be a good corner to have a good feeling, but it just let go really, really quick. It shocks you a bit, but even putting in the soft if made a little bit of a difference but not much.”

Miller’s Ducati team-mate Francesco Bagnaia also conceded the feeling on track was odd, especially given how fast the lap times on Friday were.

“It’s strange the feeling with the grip because thinking on the grip, it’s incredible the lap times we are doing because we are so much faster than the last years without grip because you feel that there’s something strange,” Bagnaia said.

Bagnaia said his feeling on the factory Ducati was "strange" (Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images)

“This morning I thought it was like this because it was the morning, but this afternoon was even worse. I don’t understand why.”

But Suzuki’s Joan Mir, who fell at Turn 7 in FP2, believes the crashes on Friday at Le Mans were just a consequence of the nature of the track and the cold wind of FP1 may have “created some confusion”.

“This track has this characteristic I think,” said Mir.

“The crashes normally, if we don’t talk about the slow corners, all the rest of the corners there’s not a lot of warning from the front tyre.

“There’s a lot of crashes, all without warnings. This is typical of Le Mans.

“We also know that here there is a lot of crashes, because today the temperature was high but the wind was cold. So this can also create some confusion.”

What is inkl?
The world’s most important news, from 100+ trusted global sources, in one place.
Morning Edition
Your daily
news overview

Morning Edition ensures you start your day well informed.

No paywalls, no clickbait, no ads
Enjoy beautiful reading

Content is only half the story. The world's best news experience is free from distraction: ad-free, clickbait-free, and beautifully designed.

Expert Curation
The news you need to know

Stories are ranked by proprietary algorithms based on importance and curated by real news journalists to ensure that you receive the most important stories as they break.

Dive Deeper:
Suzuki MotoGP exit bombshell didn’t weigh on riders in Le Mans practice
Suzuki’s decision to quit MotoGP at the end of 2022 did not weigh on Joan Mir or Alex Rins during…
MotoGP French GP: Under pressure Espargaro tops crash-strewn FP1
An under pressure Pol Espargaro on the Honda topped a crash-strewn opening practice for the MotoGP French Grand Prix ahead…
2022 MotoGP French Grand Prix: Full Friday practice results
Gresini Ducati rider Enea Bastianini headed practice times on Friday at MotoGP's French Grand Prix, setting a new lap record…
MotoGP French GP: Bastianini tops FP2 with new lap record despite crash
Gresini Ducati’s Enea Bastianini topped FP2 for the MotoGP French Grand Prix with a new lap record despite a late…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
MotoGP French GP: Zarco sets new lap record, Mir misses Q2 cut
Pramac Ducati’s Johann Zarco smashed the Le Mans lap record to top FP3 at the MotoGP French Grand Prix as…
MotoGP French GP: Bagnaia leads Ducati 1-2 to claim second pole
Francesco Bagnaia led a Ducati 1-2 to snatch pole for the MotoGP French Grand Prix as home hero Fabio Quartararo…
Get all your news in one place